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Author: Aliyah Turrentine, first-year adviser serving Scotland High School

It’s officially the end of the service year and time for us to sign off on the blog for the summer. But before we do that, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Aliyah Turrentine and I’m a first-year adviser serving the prestigious Scotland High School in Laurinburg, North Carolina. I’d like to start by saying that my students are amazing and have completely warmed my heart this year. It was a privilege to see them off at graduation last Saturday.

On June 4th and 5th, I attended the Carolina College Advising Corps End of Year Retreat in Chapel Hill. I spent two days engaging in fellowship with first, second, and third-year advisers. This felt like our last time meeting as a family since many of our second-year advisers are off to graduate school or new jobs.

This year’s retreat was extremely impactful and meaningful for me. We closed out the year with empowering key note speakers, adviser led sessions, good food, and fellowship. On the first day, we had our own kind of “Decision Day.” The second-year advisers were invited to wear the colors of their future graduate schools which was really cool. We ended lunch with shout-outs to recognize our fellow advisers. It got a bit emotional but it was meaningful for us to share so much love around the room.

The returning and non-returning advisers then split up. While the non-returning advisers participated in a mentoring session, the returners customized mugs for the non-returners and went over details for summer training. That evening we had a food truck style dinner and listened to throwback jams surrounded by friends.

Then, Tuesday hit. We wore 90’s attire and our Fresh Prince of Bel-Air inspired t-shirts. This day was bittersweet as we were parting ways from one another. We participated in a self-care workshop with UNC Student Wellness that focused on all aspects of wellness: cultural, emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual. The workshop helped me identify areas that I want to work on within myself. The presenter reminded us to take the time to notice when we are feeling worn out and to avoid using exhaustion as a badge for hard work. First-year adviser, Brandon Yelverton, made a comment that resonated with everyone when he said

“you pour all of this water to fill everyone’s cup but eventually the water will be gone if you don’t make time for self-care.”

We then spent time in conversation with the non-returning advisers about leadership as a second-year, self-care as a second-year, and planning for life after the Carolina College Advising Corps. We expressed our feelings, asked questions, and gained insight. Senior Assistant Director, Eric Smith then facilitated a talk show style interview with Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at UNC Chapel Hill, Steve Farmer. He shared about his upbringing and educational journey, as well as his day-to-day agenda where he spoke about “meaning meetings.”

We closed with a moving talk by former adviser, Mr. Warché Downing. I believe this was the most powerful talk that I’ve had the pleasure of being present for this entire year. The talk he gave really pulled me in and helped give me perspective. For example, Mr. Downing said that, “you can’t allow past experiences to prevent you from prevailing” and that

“in this job, it’s not about you it’s about the people you’re called to serve.”

Mr. Downing shared that there are three types of people: those that complain about their life, those that let life happen to them, and those that take action. I’m proud to serve alongside so many people who are “taking action” and also practicing grace, humility, and gratitude along the way.

Thanks for being a reader and tuning into our blog. I hope this has given you a glimpse of the family that I am connected with as a Carolina College Advising Corps adviser.

Signing off, Aliyah Turrentine, first-year adviser at the one and only Scotland High School.

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