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Endings & Beginnings:

Reflecting on this semester and looking ahead to the next.

As the fall semester of 2017 comes to a close in the next two weeks, I am looking forward to a few weeks off and the opportunities that next spring has in store for me.

This semester has been busy, between my two jobs and my six classes. I have spent a great deal of it adjusting to my new position as the Lead Scholar of Social Justice Education, a role which is not only new to me but new to the department as well. It’s strange, feeling like a student scholar but also being present for “staff” meetings.

At the beginning of the semester, I was unsure how the other scholars would react to the fact that I was taking on a leadership role and how it would affect the social dynamic of the space. I remained pretty anxious about it all semester and I have put forth an effort to be extra friendly and open about the fact that I’m adjusting alongside them to this change. I’m happy to say most of that anxiety has gone away, and I feel like I am on solidly positive terms with everyone. Going forward, I think it’s important that I keep spending time with my fellow scholars and developing those relationships, especially since several members of the cohort will be graduating in May.

My other job as a writer and content strategist with the Division of Undergraduate Education is still going well. I have had the position for almost a year now, which is the longest that I have kept any job. While that’s not unusual for someone my age, its an important distinction because I tend to be the type of person who enjoys change in a professional capacity. The fact that my schedule gets completely shaken up at the start of every new semester has kept things fresh for me, and I’ve already begun to struggle with a false sense of ‘boredom’ in this job. I haven’t completely lost my mind though – I’m well aware that this position is a fantastic opportunity that I need to maintain a tight grasp on as long as I can. I plan to try and be more intentional about being a passionate, engaged employee moving forward.

It has been an interesting period for me academically. I’m pleased to say that I currently have an A in every class, though finals next week may change that. I am attempting to become more comfortable with grades that are not A’s, because grade-related anxiety has held me back the past two years. While I still intend to maintain my 3.8 GPA, or at least a number close to it, I don’t plan to spend any more time fretting about grades as each semester progresses. In the end, it is more about what you gain intellectually from the classes you take – not the letter grade on your transcript. This change in mindset has been hard, but it’s going to be better for my mental health in the long run.

Right now, I’m trying not to think about the fact that I only have three more semesters left until graduation. That thought comes with a whole luggage set of emotions I don’t feel like unpacking right now. However, I am looking forward to this upcoming semester and upcoming opportunities, most notably a new internship.

As of Saturday, I accepted an internship position with the non-profit organization Girls Inc., which facilitates programming to empower girls in the Indianapolis area. Not only is it going to be a good way for me to expand my portfolio and develop my public relations skills, but it also means I will be working for an organization who’s mission I truly believe in.

I will hold ten to twelve office hours there each week, in addition to my other two jobs and another 13-credit semester. I think my schedule next semester is really going to push me, hopefully in a way which will help me further development my time management skills. As of right now, my plan is to enter 2018 with a positive attitude and keep an eye out for new growth opportunities.

I will try to keep this blog updated so that I have a record of how that goes!

 

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