As a first-year adviser, I question myself a lot. I worry that I don’t do enough, that I don’t know enough, that I am not enough. I think to a certain extent my worries are not unfounded. I don’t know everything, nor should I feel that I do. I may be an “expert” in a lot of college access points, but it is my school staff and students who are experts in Surry County and what they need. That’s why forming quality relationships with students, staff, and community members has mattered so much to me.
Over the past few months, I have met with over half of the senior class at both my schools, spoken about my work with district administrators and school board members, and networked with countless community leaders at sporting events, parent nights, and local festivals. The community has embraced me in an overwhelming way. I spend my weekends at chicken stews, baby showers, and church revivals. Students and parents know who I am, and they know they can trust me with their stories and dreams. I value and honor the relationships I have made and the amazing people I have met.
I read admissions essays from future CNAs and future neurosurgeons; students have a wide variety of goals and every interaction with them brings new excitements and/or challenges which we try to work through together. Sometimes we’re too busy laughing at each other or crying because of an acceptance. These are the moments I make space for. They make this experience rich and rewarding, especially considering all the work we do together to achieve goals. This isn’t to say that every day is a good day. Students miss appointments, misinformation leads to confusion and low participation, and apathy sometimes pervades. With that, I know I have to keep trying because the good days shadow any bad. Despite the bumps in the road, every day is a Great Day To Be An Adviser.