Saturday, October 27, 2012

Its Okay to Help Yourself

First of all, I apologize to my readers for being away for a few months. Things in life got a little heavy for my liking, and writing took a back seat. Things are finally settling, and it seemed like a good time for me to return for a bit.

The job market has been tough. I know you're thinking, "no shit Sherlock". Sorry, I had to state the obvious. After spending too many hours to properly count on applying for jobs, I have nothing to show for it. I interviewed for a few Area Director positions at ACPA. However, nothing happened.

I have been in the same hall director position for five to seven years. I have stretched myself beyond my professional limits. I have taken on new responsibilities beyond my job description to gain unique experience. Yet, nothing I have done has led to the next step in the residence life field.

As summer wound down, I started the slow decent into depression as I realized I was once again beginning a new academic year as hall director of Xavier Hall (pseudonym) instead of settling into a new, higher position. Like many of my colleagues out there in higher education land, I felt frustrated, cheated, and angry. Had I not done everything "they" suggested to further my ResLife career? Had I not sat on lots of committees, volunteered my time with other departments, and apprenticed with the Operations office for a semester? How could all these years of self sacrifice and constant professional development fail me?

Needless to say, after a solid month of intense misery and self-loathing, it was suggested that I see a therapist to deal with these feelings. I found out just how much anxiety can accumulate by living for years in a toxic fish bowl. Although I am still disillusioned with my career and wish I could live/work somewhere else, I am learning to better handle the stress of my disappointment.

For all you readers who are struggling to find purpose in your career, take solace in that you are not alone. If there are bigger issues and you still have anxiety about your job, your living space, or your future, please don't be afraid to reach out. We all are trained to take care of others, yet a lot of the time, we forget to help ourselves.


  1. "We all are trained to take care of others, yet a lot of the time, we forget to help ourselves." Couldn't have said it better myself. I went to a few counseling sessions last semester myself, and one of the first questions my counselor asked me was, "Do you ask for help?" (Which I mentioned in the entry I wrote about said session.)

    After realizing that I hardly do, I now realize that I only wish I would have sooner. Sometimes it's those of us who stretch ourselves thin who need it the most.

    Now, studying counseling in grad school, I can only hope I can better help those who may be struggling like I did and discover more about myself along the way (even if it does mean being a grad RA til May...).

  2. I'm thrilled to read that you are in therapy. Unfortunately, today's society hints that asking for help, especially in the form of therapy, is a sign of weakness. After all, we are a nation built on the idea of pulling ourselves up from our bootstraps. I hope you continue to ask for help and that it helps!

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog and happy you are back! I am glad that I am not alone. Being a hall director has been a love hate relationship for me. Last year, I have tried to transition to other student life positions with no avail. It was depressing, but the thing that I have learned from the experience is that it truly is about who you know. My goal next year is to apply again, but also network. I hope everything works out for you too!