Day in the Life: Student Affairs Professional Seeking a Job… Any Job.

Going on three months ago, I graduated (for the second time) as a proud alum of Youngstown State with a Masters of Science in Education, specializing in Student Affairs. I had chosen this field largely because of my extracurricular involvement as an undergrad and my interest in organizational politics. After five semesters of 14 hr days, often keeping me on campus till 11pm, hundreds of pages of papers, detailed projects, writing about my feelings, and a three and a half hour comprehensive written exam, I was qualified to cross the stage again, and this time, with a really fancy hood.

To be completely honest, the last three months of my life haven’t been particularly great. I won’t go into detail, but I’m still searching for my first post-college, adult job that requires one of my degrees. Yeah, it’s been frustrating, and I have been utilizing all the resources available to me. At times, its hard not to be discouraged, especially when its feels like the universe is rubbing it in my face that I don’t have the job yet. However, the family members, friends, and mentors I have reached out to have been nothing but supportive as my search continues. (Thanks, everybody!) A friend and former instructor put it to me this way: I may be perfect for a job, but the job just might not be perfect for me. I know I have a lot to offer any employer, and I would love to work at a college or university, helping students have the same kind of positive experience I was lucky enough to enjoy.

So, you may be wondering… what have I been doing to keep busy? Well, blogging here, to start. I won’t lie — it has been really nice to relax and do the things that I want to do on my own time. I wouldn’t trade my education for anything, but it didn’t leave a whole lot of time for activities. I’ve been catching up on TV via Netflix and Hulu Plus, getting out and walking, and reading the things that I want to read. The great thing about getting a degree, though, is that no matter what, no one can take that away. Regardless of what I’m doing, I’m still a Master of something, which is pretty neat to be able to say. I could tell you about all the things that I’ve been up to now that I’m a Master of Science (which is rather ironic for me, actually… I can’t science anything), but I thought it would be more interesting to show you….

Almost every morning, just like this. Since he’s a small dog, Toby actually makes for comfortable snuggling, unlike all those pictures out there of German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers pushing their person out of bed.

1. There are soooooooo many things on Pinterest…  2. That looks cool. Could I make that? 3. Nah, moving on.

Then I go on Pinterest for a while… a long, long while. There’s hot chocolate in that mug, I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I think I should try to get another degree in Pinning and Board Curation.

Toby has his own YSU leash. He majors in naps, with dual minors in lap-sitting and giving sad puppy face whenever you eat chicken.

If I’m at Brian’s, I’ll take advantage of the pool. Someday, I’ll have some semblance of a tan.

Gotta level up. I never really played video games when I was growing up. I was always too busy with school stuff and I didn’t find them that interesting anyway, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

1. Let’s see here.. what new positions are up?   2. Hmm… this one sounds pretty interesting…   3. Yeah, ok, I’ll apply for this one.   4. Ohmyglob, why are cover letters so exhausting?

This is pretty much how it is.

I’m not giving up just yet. I’m applying outside the world of academia to other jobs that suit me, and I’m considering selling some of my crafts online. (Let me know if you’re interested!) If things look up for me, I’ll let you know where I’ll be taking my talents through a LeBron James-style TV special. Check your local listings.

Channeling Stress Into Something Worth Sharing

It’s 6:58 a.m. on a Friday morning. The one day of the week that I don’t have to be up early to go to classes or be productive early in the morning. Why so Jeannette, you may ask?

It’s the last week of the semester. Finals weeks is right around the corner. Who could sleep knowing how much has to get done in the next few days? Oh, and my kitten was wide awake and in my face by 6:30 a.m., but we’ll just chalk it up to the impending doom that is finals week.

Finals week comes but twice a year (three, if you’re lucky 😉 and it never fails to sneak up on you…or  maybe that’s just me. Perhaps it’s not finals week that is so stressful for me at this point. It may just be everything else leading up to finals week, particularly the last week of classes, that makes me question how I’m ever going to survive another 5 or 6 years of this. Stress levels are heightened, tensions are high, and people are cranky. Relationships are questioned, memories are replayed of how you possibly could have missed those two extra points that will now prevent you from getting that A, and all you want to do is take a quick break from the craziness around you.

At this point, some people may resort to doing something destructive. Drinking too much, gambling away your life’s savings, or even just completely shutting down and pretending the world around you doesn’t exist. Me? I bake.

I’ve often found baking to be a relatively stress free activity. With baking, you have the world at your fingertips. You can bake anything and everything you’ve ever wanted. You can try out that old family recipe for homemade apple pie, or you can test out your knowledge of how ingredients interact and end up with something really great (…or sometimes in my case, something that won’t be worth recreating). Whatever the case may be, I channeling my stress into bake. At the end, you’re left with a delicious treat that can be shared…or kept for yourself :)…and you’ve managed to make other people happy (hopefully) too. Perhaps that’s another reason I like baking so much. I like to share and it makes me happy when other people are happy.

 So, yesterday I was feeling particularly stressed out. This is the result.

 

Peanut butter cookies and fudge brownies.

I wish I had a takeaway message from this post. I’m not sure there is one, but I guess the point is that being stressed out doesn’t mean you have to cope with it negatively (oh my goodness, can you hear the psychologist in me coming out?). Bake and share. Take pictures and enter them in a contest. Go for a run and get in shape for that upcoming race. Whatever the case may be, you can find a way to channel your stress into something positive 🙂

Happy baking to you all ❤