The two years I worked as a PA in Mark Twain were some of my most memorable, challenging, life-changing, eye-opening, exciting, fun and fabulous times in my life.
I enjoyed my job immensely the first year, despite the myriad challenges my freshmen gave me. Sadly, my job satisfaction began to wane my second year for several reasons which I won’t go into here, but the gist of it was that I was burned out.
Even though I had decided last semester to pursue a career in student affairs, I was looking for a job outside of ResLife. It had been fun, but I was looking for something else. If you had asked me two months ago if I would ever considering being a Residence Hall Coordinator, I would have immediately said “no way.”
But things have changed, and I’m not even sure why.
I think it’s because the more I think and pray about my future, the more I realize I want to work directly with students. I don’t want to sit in an office creating, planning and coordinating things for students without interacting with them face-to-face. There are a lot of jobs I could do that would foster these relationships, but HC is also one of them. While I had written it off as an option earlier, I see now that it could provide exactly the interaction I feel passionately about.
I think one reason I was adamantly against being an HC was that I was tired of being a PA. Now I recognize that PAs and HCs do very different jobs. Yes, their jobs are intertwined, and many of the issues they face are the same, but the jobs they do are inherently different. And all the things I was tired of doing as a PA may or may not translate into an HC position.
So now my options have widened as I look towards interview weekends at A&M and Bowling Green and the assistantships I will be applying for. While before I wouldn’t have even considered applying to be a graduate HC, I’m thinking about it now.
There are a few factors playing around in my head, though.
1. Hall Coordinators usually begin their training as early as July. If I were to be hired as an HC for my assistantship, My summer would be cut short. I probably couldn’t go to LT. What would I do for the first month of summer? Move home? Stay in CoMO? Move to College Station? I really want to go to LT, but I need an assistantship for grad school, and if HC was what I was offered, I’d have to take it. The reason I want to go back to LT is so I can continue to deepen my relationship with God while also transitioning to A&M’s campus ministry. But could I do that if I just straight up moved to College Station after graduation? Probably?
2. HCs’ job hours are not your typical 9-5 job. Meetings after hours, on-call weeks, etc. Do I want to fo into that job during my first year or grad school while I’m trying to transition to a new school and community, or wait until I graduate?
3. I’ve been there, done that, kind of. I’ve done ResLife. I haven’t done Service Learning, Leadership Development, Recruitment and Admissions or Orientation. These are all things I want to get a shot at.
1. Because of my experience, I might be more qualified to be an HC, and therefore might have an easier job ascertaining the job. I need an assistantship, and if I can get one fairly easily, I’m taking it. Plus I could try out all the other aspects I mentioned during my Practicum semesters.
1. I would get to “test-drive” the job, per se. I would be able to see if I wanted to do it more long-term while only being committed to it for a year or two.
2. HCs get a place to live and some food to eat included in their payment. This would be a huge perk since the idea of trying to find housing in a completely unfamiliar town terrifies me.
Oy with the poodles already! So many things to consider. I won’t let this stress me out since interviews aren’t until the end of February, but it’s definitely something I’ll be mulling over and praying about.