Radiating Sunshine: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Happier You: Work as Flow Review


So, today I'm reviewing how I did on my March goal of work as flow! Now as I disclaimed in the original post I DEFINITELY did not establish work as flow during the month of March. But, I did complete a number of items on my goals list. Check out the original post, here!

My competencies... Unfortunately, I didn't really get to focus on my competency areas as much as I would have liked. I have specific areas where I would love to see more growth in, however I didn't get enough time to really make set action items to achieve in those areas.

The two main areas where I would like to see more growth in are:
- assessment, evaluation, and history (AER)
- organizational and human resource (OHR)

While attending different conferences in March, I learned A LOT about assessment and I'm really looking forward to incorporating some assessment into my current work as a Residence Director. I also feel like there is just so much i need to learn about human resources and organizational behavior. I can't wait to learn more about how organizations budget and make major decisions.

Work Life Balance... was a SUCCESS! I feel so refreshed from this month and I feel like I spent more time for myself. There were a lot of nights when I left my office early (i.e. not staying past 9PM) and went back to my apartment and just relaxed on the couch. I also got to take a morning completely off for my birthday, which was amazing!

Get Out of the Office... I held one official program in March and spent a lot more time just sitting in my lobby! It can be really hard for me to get out of "task manager" mode, but when I did I was definitely thankful. I got to quiz myself on my residents. The best part is that almost all of them knew who I was and they still think my apartment is attached to my office. At least they can't say I'm not present, right?

Student Development... I don't know, which theory I identify with the most, but they are all really interesting! I think Astin's Involvement Theory and Tinto's Retention Theory really intrigue me and constantly remind me why I encourage my students to get involved and to stay invested. But, I also love moral development theories like Kohlberg's!

Make Someone's Day... as I said in my original post, this wasn't really something I could measure. But, I tried to live every day being grateful and appreciative of my co-workers, supervisees, and residents. Some days were better than others, but I feel like for the most part I was excited for people and did my best to make people's days!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Twenty Three Thoughts & Wishes

 I can't believe I'm twenty-three! 22 was definitely a remarkable year... I graduated from college, got into graduate school, got my first job, moved into my first apartment, and supervised my first staff! I know a lot of my accomplishments are centered around work, but they are still major life milestones.

I have learned so much during my 22nd year of life and I'm feeling surprisingly old as a 23 year old! I know 23 is so so young in the grand scheme of things, but for my entire life I have set so many due dates for. I had due dates for when I wanted to be on my own, have my dream job, when I wanted to get married, buy a house, start a family, etc. From a young age, I had this whole life planned out before me and never gave myself the chance to let it unfold naturally. Gradually, as I have gotten older I realized that the most important things in my life are the things I have not planned! For example, I never expected to be a blogger, but here I am dedicating 5+ hours a week to blogging, consulting, researching, and reading other blogs. So, one of my resolutions for this golden year of mine is to stop living by a prescribed plan for life and just live.

Today, I'm going to share with you all 23 thoughts and wishes for my golden year:

1. I hope that I can accomplish remarkable things and leave my impact on the world during this golden year of my life.
2. Go on at least one adventure.
3. Take advantage of this beautiful world I am surrounded by.
4. Learn to say no {I have the Yes-Man Syndrome}
5. Quit complaining.
6. Get up off the couch.
7. Spend a day appreciating every single person in my life.
8. Eat as much sushi as I can.
9. Start wearing lipstick or something sophisticated
10. Call more often than text
11. Try a new series on Netflix that is out of my comfort zone
12. Re-decorate my apartment
13. Genuinely surprise someone
14. Visit my parents once a month
15. Clean up my email and junk mail
16. Write more letters
17. Volunteer at different organizations.
18. Improve my blogging skills and networks
19. Connect with an old friend.
20. Make a complicated dessert
21. Take more bubble baths
22. Read more books & complete a reading challenge
23. Enjoy every day life

Thank you all for the kind words and well wishes! Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Confessional Friday

I confess... I don't think I have ever felt this much appreciation in one week than I have in this week of my life. On Tuesday, it was RD Appreciation Day and my residents, RAs, fellow RDs, and supervisors were incredibly giving and spoiled me so much! My words of affirmation cup was overflowing.
I confess... my golden birthday was this past Wednesday and it was probably one of the most magical birthdays I have ever had. I started the day with a one on one in my office and came down and was completely surprised by beautiful flowers, decorations, and a balloon. The day only got better. I went and got a hair cut and the stylist gave me an incredible deal! Then, I had an excellent and productive work day. Followed by a dinner date with my favorite man and a night of movie watching and joke sharing.
I confess... I'm super excited for Easter! I gave up soda for lent and I don't think the craving has ever been so strong than it has been in the last 24 hours. So, come Sunday afternoon I will be stopping at the nearest Sheetz, giving the cashier $0.99 and picking up a Fountain soda!

I confess... there is this charming little flower bed by my building and I love watching Spring come to Ship! These flowers are so beautiful and they are growing like crazy! I'm hoping to update you all on their progress next week!
I confess... endless appetizers from TGI Fridays is probably my favorite thing! J and I went for my birthday and there is nothing better than endless apps, drinks, and great company! J and I ate so much that we didn't save room for birthday cake, so this weekend I'll celebrate in birthday in birthday cake fashion!
Those are all of my confessions for the week! Hope you had a beautiful week and Spring is coming to a home near you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Ultimate Salad Dressing

Today, I'm sharing with you all my favorite salad dressing! Salads in a jar have pretty much saved my healthy lifestyle since starting graduate school. The secret behind a good salad in a jar is making sure your dressing is not too creamy. I know other bloggers love using cream based dressing, however I prefer my cucumbers and other veggies that hang out in the dressing to get a little pickled throughout the week. So, today I'm going to share my favorite salad dressing recipe that works wonders for parties and works wonders for my salads in a jar.

Oil & Vinegar Dressing
Ingredients: 
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3cup of distilled white vinegar
1/2 onion cut finely
2 hard boiled eggs (a must for all of my salads)
2 teaspoons of oregano
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
Dash of pepper
1/2 cup of parmesan

Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until well integrated. This recipe will fill an entire mason jar and you can shake the mason jar before serving it at a party.

To alter this recipe for salads in a jar: Start with the olive oil and fill the jar 3/4 way to the ML line. Then add the remaining 1/4 of distilled white vinegar. Then sprinkle in the ingredients. I don't measure them out, but for the spices I use a dash of each. 2 tablespoons of onion, 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese, and 2 hard boiled eggs (per 4 jars).

This salad dressing has changed my salad in a jar life. I came up with this recipe when I ran out of balsamic dressing a few weeks back and I haven't purchased dressing since! I was totally desperate and I knew that oil and vinegar is a popular dressing combination... I just didn't know it could create this delicious dressing. And a total bonus is that most of you probably have all of the ingredients to make this salad dressing in your kitchen already.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekend Recap 3/21/16

Holy moly how is it already Mach 21st! This year has been flying by, but I feel like I have accomplished and done so much This past weekend was one dedicated to studies, duty, work, and friends. So, really not a bad weekend!

Friday night... a few of my college friends came up and we ate Chinese food and played board games. I haven't seen everyone together since New Years so it has definitely been awhile. It's never a dull moment with Hannah, Bobby, Joel and Matt! I also don't think I've ever laughed so hard while playing scattegories before in my entire life!

Saturday... The university I work at hosted Accepted Student's Day and me and my fellow RD friend Alex spent our morning talking to families about Housing and Residence Life. I think its time that I do an internship with Admissions because although I hate working on Saturday mornings, Open Houses make me so energized. Suddenly two hours past, my feet started to ache, and I felt over the moon about all of the questions I got to answer! Plus hanging out with the queen of extroverts (Alex) really is the best thing ever!
After I finished up at the Open House and Residence Hall tours, I went back to my apartment and watched movies and relaxed with my friends. I think I have determined that watching a movie or movies with your greatest friends is the BEST WAY to watch a movie/movies. We watched Blades of Glory (or the last half hour-- shout out to Montreal) and then San Andres. The commentary that was made was definitely more interesting than the movies.

Once the rest of the crew arrived, we embarked on a homemade dinner exploration and made various dips and chicken fajitas. I'm used to just feeding one guy, but feeding six was a completely different ball game. However, the fajitas were a hit and I'm really looking forward to the leftovers this week!

Later in the evening we played more board games. We always play a game called Werewolf, which is very similar to mafia. My friend James does an incredible job narrating the game and watching everyone always go after someone is hysterical.

Sunday... was a day full of brunch, naps, homework, cleaning my apartment, going to the gym, taking a bubble bath, and meal prepping for this week! I was telling my DA and RA that I really can't picture what my Sundays will look like post grad school (in two years)! Homework has been a part of my life for so long, that I may get bored on Sundays not having anything to do (JK).
I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week. For starters, Easter is ALMOST here! I'm ready for a fountain soda come Sunday afternoon. Although I have loved giving up soda and my water intake has definitely gone up, I really miss the carbonation and sweetness of a coke or a pepsi. I'm also looking forward to turning 23 on Wednesday. Yes, the golden year is upon us and I'm determined to make it the best year I've ever had! Everyone always talks about how 23 is a boring birthday and while that might be true, I'm going to start doing things that will make everyone in my life happy and will definitely be documenting all of my adventures ;)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Love Your Office


Happy Friday friends! Today, I'm shaking things up... instead of writing about my five weekly confessions I'm going to connect with my Happier You Goal for March: Work as Flow and write about five ways I have made my office my happy space!

So, here is my office:
This office has experienced A LOT of change over the several months I have called it mine. To start with, I got new office furniture back in October and new carpet! I still miss the random assortment of mismatched furniture! But, you really can't complain when you have a wrap around desk, beautiful bookshelf, and a ton of file/storage space!

Anyways, once I had all my new furniture in place I officially got to decorate, which will lead me into the first way to make your office your happy space!

JOY INSPIRED DECORATIONS

Happiness researchers suggest that you fill your office space with bright and colorful hues! As well as filling your walls with things/people/memories that mean something to you. If you have photos of loved ones or artwork made by your children, don't leave it at home! Instead create a fun collage, which will not only make your office more welcoming, but will bring you joy while you work. 

My favorite forms of decor are positivity quotes, pictures of flowers from Austria (I'll take real ones too, if you want to send them), cards from different people, pictures of my staff, family, and friends, and various awards or degrees earned. Sometimes, I look around my office and I think "I have way too much stuff on the walls," but I can genuinely say everything has special meaning and purpose! 

Some of my favorite positivity quotes are: 

"Let your smile change the world, but don't let the world change your smile"

"it always seems impossible until its done" 

"for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin-- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be gotten through first. Some unfinished business. Time still to be served. A debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective had helped me to see their is no way to happiness. HAPPINESS IS THE WAY"- Souza 

"You create beauty with your attitude, your behavior, your actions. It's all up to you"

ORGANIZE IN YOUR OWN WAY

I feel fairly confident that if something were to happen to me and I couldn't work someone could come in and learn my system. I have my files clearly labeled. But, everything undoubtedly has a home in my office. I put my housing rosters in the same middle slot on my desk. I keep one on one notes in folders right by my computer. I keep meeting agendas in the cabinet to my left. My snack drawer is the second drawer down on the right (shush, don't tell anyone). Every thing has a space. Now, my office isn't always a beacon of organization. But, I like to organize in my own way! 

BE OKAY WITH CLUTTER

I've been in a number of different offices and I must say the ones that are the most inviting aren't always the ones with the most organization and the least amount of clutter. I've found that having "healthy amounts" of clutter are good for the soul. For example, I have a single vanilla spice tea bag on my desk (unused) and I really should just take it to my apartment. But, there is something about the tea bag that just makes it feel cozy and warm. One of my RD friends, Aaron has this file cabinet industrial piece of furniture that always draws my attention when I go into his office. For awhile, I felt critical about the mismatched furniture. But, now I have grown to love and appreciate it. The cabinet is full of various prizes that may look ordinary to others, but are extraordinary to him.

MAKE A HAPPINESS JAR

Sometimes you just need a little inspiration, so a few weeks back I created a happiness jar! I had so much fun filling it with different positive related things. I put in quotes from my favorite authors, nice words from my co-workers or bosses, and cute little images! Its very comforting to know that the jar is always here whenever I may need it and it kind of serves as an interactive happy booster for me! (send me your favorite quotes to radiatingsunshineblog@gmail.com and I'll add them to my jar)

HAVE COMFORT ITEMS

In my office, I always have a variety of snacks, juice boxes, and a sweater for whenever I'm cold. The positive side, is my office does not have heating or air conditioning. So, I rarely need the sweater... but, its nice to have just in case! Another consideration for your office is having seats for people to sit in when they swing by. I have five seats and I kind of pride myself on having comfortable space for students to sit in when they stop by! Sometimes my office gets so full of people, it is kind of overwhelming. But, I'm glad my students like to visit. Light is also another consideration! Make sure you either have some natural lighting or lamps to brighten up your space. My ceiling lights work really well (i.e. they aren't too overpowering), but having a welcoming office focuses a lot on the lighting of the space.

If there was one thing I could change about my office, I would definitely add a window or maybe a window on my door. Without windows it can get very "closet" feeling, however I think I make up for that with my colorful posters all around my walls. So, there you have it... 5 tips I have used to make my office my happy space!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Break Recap 3/14/16

One thing I love about Student Affairs is the breaks! I love taking a week (usually) and ending my break with a break recap over a weekend recap. I sometimes get jealous of my friends who have opted for careers that allow you to plan your life not on a semester-basis! However, I would be totally lying if I said I would pick anything, but this field for my career choice. 

This past week, I spent my Spring Break on a lot of different adventures. I began break with J as you heard about in his Weekend Recap last week! J is truly the greatest guy I know. Who would write a blog post for his girlfriend and wake up at 3:30AM to drive her to the airport. I told J last week that I am definitely over the whole traveling without him thing. So, J pack your back for ACPA 2017 :)

Anyways, from Sunday-Wednesday afternoon I spent my time in Montreal, Quebec, Canada! I flew out early Sunday morning and spent all day Sunday exploring and getting acquainted with the city. My hotel was about a half mile away from the convention center, so this allowed me plenty of time to learn the city and explore the business district of Montreal. 
The convention primarily took place in the Palais des Congreis (Palace of Congress) for Montreal. This building was without a doubt definitely one of the coolest and most modern building I have ever been! The sun reflected through the windows in the most beautiful way and it was a perfect location for the ACPA convention to be held.

Before, I get into details about the adventures... ACPA is international organization for Higher Education and Student Affairs. ACPA hosts tons of professional development opportunities and is committed to diversity and cultivating the best SA Professionals! The convention was so much fun and I can't wait to reflect on my notes throughout this week. I won't bore you all with educational details from the convention, however residential curriculums basically completes my life.

Food also completes my life... so I'm featuring my favorite dish from a restaurant that my co-worker Aaron and I stumbled upon. This fine dish is a crepe with sweet cheese and fresh fruit. I also got an assorted fruit juice, which was delightful. I still don't know what fruit was made to create the juice, but Aaron and I had a wide variety of guesses from apples, to dates, to apricots, etc!

People also make my adventures worth while and today I'm going to feature two people who definitely made exploring Montreal worth while! Aaron (on the left) was definitely essential to exploring Montreal. He is great company to keep and was a superb sounding board for great ideas! He is currently job searching and when he leaves I will definitely miss working with him every day.

Allegra (on the right) graduated with me from High School. She attends McGill University, so naturally while in Montreal I knew I needed to meet up with her! It was so nice talking to her and hearing about her different life experiences. College in Canada is definitely different from college in the US.

I also shared a delicious meal with some Ship friends and one of our professors (combining friends and food). We ate at a brewery and I got to try poutine, a Montreal inspired dish. Now they sell variations of poutine in the states, but nothing beats eating Montreal poutine right? Poutine is basically fries, gravy, and cheese curds (mozzarella cheese) and is literally heaven! I love french fries and gravy and add cheese to the picture and you literally cannot make me any happier. 
And to continue on the food train, one of Aaron's girlfriend's friends bought the table these delicious macaroons, which literally made my blogging heart and tastebuds swoon. Not only were these little treats beautiful to look at, but they were delicious to enjoy. I had never had a french macaroon before and I think I now have a favorite dessert.

There is something just so perfect about a macaroon, which is why I feel like it is the blogger's go to dessert to feature. Macaroons just emit this sweet and tender vibe on life, which I am definitely going to capitalize on more often.
The flavors: lemon, hazelnut, pistachio, raspberry, and chocolate 
When the conference ended, Aaron, his girlfriend Amy and I left and drove back to the States! Amy lives in New York, so we pit stopped at her apartment for the night before continuing to PA. So, Amy and Aaron gave me the full experience. We even when to a local brewery, where I think I had my favorite beer of all time: the Cheery Raspberry... I may or may not only feel deeply passionate about it because it has a cheery at the bottom (I know I'm really a child). I loved hanging out with Aaron and Amy and I really wish Josh could have joined us! We will definitely need to double date in the upcoming months!

On a side note Amy is a blogger too! I know super cool and it would only be right for me to give her blog, Unfinished Business a shout out, so check it out here! She blogs about life, day to day exploring, and Higher Education!


Aaron and I got back to PA on Thursday and I began packing my bags to leave for NODA at William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA on Friday. I took six O-Team Leaders and students to NODA and this was a remarkable experience. 
The students are all really inspiring folks and I loved having different conversations with them, getting to know them on a personal level, and singing with them in the car. We had a 5.5+ road trip down and back and this group made the drive so easy!
I'll be interning with Orientation this Summer, so it was really nice for me to begin establishing relationships with the O- Team leaders and learning how other institutions and our own university values transition and retention.

Both of these conferences have left me feeling so excited for the Student Affairs field and I'm so blessed to have been given the opportunity to meet so many new people, to learn so many new things, and to make so many memories! Whether it was for a conference for professional growth or a conference dedicated to great Orientation practices, my SA heart is so full of happiness it could explode.

How have you all been? I need to do some serious catching up on the blog world, but it will have to wait until the end of this week. All of the traveling has caused quite the back up on work and grad school. Anyways, cheers to a busy week!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Finances and Happiness

To continue with my work as flow goals for March, today I'm talking about finances (I know one of the biggest topics not to discuss publicly on a blog). However, before you get concerned that I'm going to share all of my personal details, let me tell you what I actually intend to write about: college students. I know, shocker! I spend every day with college students, have them as neighbors, and they make my job incredibly valuable. However, recently a common theme that they are all experiencing is a concern for finances.

College is expensive and the cost to attend a four-year institution is increasing at alarming odds. In December, I met with five different students who told me that they did not even know if they could come back in the Spring to continue their degree. Nothing brought me more sadness than seeing bright students who work so hard worry about when there next meal will be and or whether they will be able to pay for their books.

So, today I'm writing about sharing some money saving tips for college students. I recognize that I was an extremely fortunate college student. My parents helped me pay for college and I worked as an RA and RCL (Senior RA), which paid for my room and board. I also worked a part-time job at a clothing store for money to spend on purchasing a car and various college adventures. I'm grateful to my parents for their assistance, but many college students aren't as lucky as me!

Over the years, I have talked to many different students in a variety of financial states. I've learned that almost all college students are pressed for money and I think these financial tips will help students see themselves in a more comfortable financial light.

Tip One: Plan reasonably

This was a tough lesson that I learned when I started saving money! I kept thinking, okay I'll save money and then found myself disappointed after I splurged on a Chipotle burrito. So, be reasonable with your financial planning. Think about how much you spend every month. There are great apps that you can get for FREE that will help you track your spending. Check out Credit Card Insider for more helpful tips! Look at what you're spending on and see what areas you can cut back in. I like to look at my credit card as a debit card. The way I do this is any time I use it to buy something, I only swipe it if I have that money in my bank account. Debit cards take money directly out of the account in one transaction, however credit card bills can sneak up on you and it can be easy to rack up those bills.

When I budget, I look at the whole semester. I think about everything I need first (i.e. gas money and groceries) and then I think about what "splurges" I want to spend on. Yes, I budget in my occasional target therapy sessions! This way I'm prepared for what I'm spending on over the semester and I track it on a spreadsheet.

Tip Two: Set measurable goals

To continue on about my spreadsheet, I track all of my spending. Ever semester, I think about things that I need to spend on at the start or end of the semester (where I do most of my big spending). So, I set aside sections for school supplies, like textbooks. On my spreadsheet, I put aside car needs, grocery needs, adventures, and personal spending. Every category was waited with different total goals, which helped me track my financial goals. Make sure you consider when your student bills are due and have goals to set aside for saving for your next bill.

Tip Three: Spend on memories

Happiness experts say that when you spend on money, you should spend less money on things and more money on doing things with others. So, the lesson to be learned here is to go to Target with your FRIENDS and purchase things. Just kidding. The point of spending on memories, over things is because it will actually leave you feeling more fulfilled. Memories are something that can never be taken away and when you are surrounded by people your happiness levels will soar. Don't forget to make sure you pay your bills too. I would hate for you to say that Radiating Sunshine told you to spend all of your money on memories, remember your bills too!

Tip Four: Be patient

Don't expect to see immediate results in your savings account. It can take years to save a substantial amount of money. However, don't let that discourage you either. If you set attainable and measurable goals and try to hold yourself accountable, you will see changes in your bank account. So, be proud of yourself and don't put yourself down when your savings come in slow.

Every college student is on their own financial journey. Find out where you are and think about where you want to be and when you want to be there. I'm always learning better ways to save and incorporate those in my 2016 Financial Plan.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekend Recap 3/7/16

This is a special post... Alex is currently on her way to Montreal for the ACPA Conference and I (yes, this is Josh) get the special privilege to take over her blog for the weekend recap.

Friday;

Alex was a busy little bee at her school. Friday was the last day before spring break! Now, she is headed off to Montreal for a conference. I am just a little jealous because my spring break was this past week, but now Alex and I are switching roles. Back to school for me, and on to vacation for Alex. I'm so happy for her though. She works so hard during the week, and she deserves some rest and relaxation.

Saturday:

I woke up and drove up to Alex's apartment. We would be embarking on quite the journey today. After picking Alex up at her apartment, we drove down to my Alma Mater, and my sister's current High School, for the annual musical. This year the feature was Alex's favorite Disney movie: Little Mermaid. It was so much fun watching the show with her and seeing my sister perform in a musical one last time (this is her senior year). Below is a picture of 2 of my favorite ladies!

When the musical was over, Alex's bags were packed, and we headed down to her parent's house so we were closer to the airport. Along the way, we went to church and stopped at Chick-Fil-A. It was really hopping at the Chicka on this Saturday night. But, we both got our excellent food and were happy as can be.


When we got to Alex's parents' house, we played with the dogs! Then, Alex helped me make a video for a position I am applying for. It took us a long time, but Alex always inspires me to do my best, and I think it turned out great!


To treat ourselves after all the hard work, we drove to the local McDonalds for Shamrock Shakes! You have to take advantage of this limited time offer when it is in season!

When we got back to the house, Alex did some blogging and we watched TV.

Then, it was time for both of us to get a little shut eye. Alex's flight left at 6:30 am, so we had to be at the airport at 4:30 am. Needless to say, it was quite an early morning.

Sunday:

Alex landed in Toronto for a layover before eventually arriving at her destination in Montreal. As for me, I drove back home where I slept for a few hours, and then did some last minute homework.

I enjoyed sharing our weekend with everyone! Please pray for safe travels for Alex this week. When she is done in Montreal, she will be headed to another conference in Williamsburg, VA. Should be an extra fun week for her, so be on the look out for some updates!

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happier You: Work as Flow

I can't believe March is already here!! Holy smokes this semester is really flying by. Anyways, today I'm sharing with you all Happier You's March Goals and that is work as flow. When thinking about my happiness project, work can often be a huge source of unhappiness and frustration. For a lot of people, work is just a means to an end. Many individuals don't find joy in their jobs, which is a true tragedy. Now, I don't know if I have found the job that will always bring me endless joy. Actually, my job on numerous occasions gives me the direct opposite of joy. Nothing breaks my heart more than one of my students not living up to their potential or a staff member who has had a rough day. However, as long as I wake up every day feeling like I am making a difference in the students' lives I work with... then every day I will wake up as a student affairs practitioner.

As I said earlier, March's goal is to develop work as flow a term from psychology of optimal experiences by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I know quite the name). Now, I recognize that I won't be able to achieve this in one month... some people don't even achieve this in a lifetime. But, inspired by Csikszentmihalyi's work I will be working on finding happiness in my job.

So, here are my March Goals:

my competencies... There are 10 Competencies that NASPA has created for student affairs professionals (check them out here). My goal is to evaluate how I am currently doing on them. After I evaluate how I've done, I then hope to create a game plan for how I can grow as a professional in these competencies. Luckily, I have amazing co-workers and supervisors who can help hold me accountable and can give me insight into areas that I can develop in (so, bring on the feedback).

work life balance... hahaha February was not the most ideal month for work life balance. I think I went to the gym three times total (don't worry I walked a lot and did work out videos in my apartment-- I'm still sticking to my healthy goals from January). But, I couldn't even find an hour in my day to work out and practice self-care... Now, that's bad. I love my job, but in March my goals is to find more work life balance and still do it all!

I laughed A LOT at this meme. Add blogging and you have one crazy RD. 
get out of the office... I want to get out of my office and actually engage with my students. I feel like I have been chained to my desk and I'm missing all of the student interactions that I had when I was an RA. So, I am hoping to measure this goal by sitting in the lobby and quizzing myself on knowing residents on a first name basis and maybe some facts.

student development... is pretty much the whole reason I do what I do. However, I still don't know that much about student development and theories. I haven't taken the College Student Personnel theories class yet, so I think its time I learn some stuff on my own. My goal is to learn about three new theories and start incorporating it into my work.

make someone's day... should be my goal every day! But, this month my goal is to make either my student's, staff member's, or co-worker's days! Now, I'm not sure exactly how I will measure this (unless they tell me). But, I will still make do!

So, those are my five goals for March! Wish me luck as I discover work as flow (or try to at least).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happier You: February Review

A month dedicated to love... and what a beautiful month it was! I honestly can't believe February is over. I'm partly sad that this month went by so quickly and excited that the RD Selection process is slowly coming to an end. Anyways, here is how I spent a month dedicated to love. 

LOVE... 

my whole self... this month I focused on loving myself. I worked on loving my flaws and being less self-critical. I committed to working out (despite the cold months) and eating healthier (hello salads in a  jar). Overall, I think I would give myself an B+ for the work that I put in to loving myself. 

write more letters... yes! And positive notes! I did a really good job this month with my letter writing. I think I sent two letters to family. Two to Josh. And wrote a bunch of little notes and kind thoughts to my co-workers. I also got to try out my calligraphy and really find my inner-style!

old-fashioned dating... this was kind of a cop out, since J and I celebrated our second anniversary during this month however, February was definitely centered around fun and creative dates! We went out to dinner, we did fun activities like bowling, and we even ate specialized donuts to celebrate us. I still struggle not seeing J every day and being okay with that! But, I'm definitely grateful for this man of mine and dating him is always magical. 
make time for family... this was probably one of the most important goals for me this month. And excitingly, I got to see my mom twice and my entire family got reunited in a spontaneous night home with pizza and funny conversations. I also got to see my Aunt Paula and cousin Brandon. So, I would definitely give myself an A for making the commitment to family. My next goal is to continue to call home and keep in touch with ALL relatives.

appreciate my co-workers... this month I decided to appreciate the heck out of my co-workers (fellow RDs). Honestly, now that more than half of them are job searching I've been thinking a lot about their impact on me. So, I set out to show appreciation. I baked muffins, I gave our tea-riffic valentines, and wrote thank you notes. I handed out Stress Relief, Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer and encouraged them all to do amazing things. I love my co-workers and am definitely thankful to share this RD experience with them all.
And I appreciate them for always sharing funny Student Affairs memes and jokes. Check out our main man, Astin who is hoping you all (especially college students) engage in their community and get involved. Cheers to student development theories!
Anyways, so that is what February looked like. All and all I think I did a great job. I'm going to keep implementing appreciating others into my weekly goals and hopefully I'll continue to love myself, my family, and pretty much have the best dating life ever with J.

xoxo,
Alex
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