I’m not sure why, but this quote from the ever so popular Disney Pixar movie, Finding Nemo (which will have a 3D showing this fall!) has stuck out this past week more than anything.

at the CLE airport before departure!

Moving to Alabama has been a huge adjustment- everything is different ya’ll :D

I would like to not apologize for the lack of writing, but more so for the lack of me getting things written down on ‘paper’ for me to have later. I’ve done so much & gotten to experience so much since being here that it’s hard for me to find time to sit down and really write anything. So here it goes, a recap of my first half of summer (because today marks my half way point in my NODA experience)!

I flew to Alabama on May 6th and started right away on May 7th. I was nervous at first, of course, but not that I couldn’t handle my workload for my internship but rather than I wouldn’t have any friends or that my colleagues wouldn’t like me. I was wrong. I have connected so well with everyone that works in my office that it has been a blessing, and I have embraced this change well.

talking with Brandon from the Career Center at the divisional meeting/lunch.

My first two weeks went by quickly: meetings, lucnhes, dinners, and to end my first week I was able to attend the UA Division of Student Affairs Awards Luncheon, where the Vice President of Student Affairs spoke as well as Dr. Bonner, the interim President of The University of Alabama!  Ending my first two weeks, our Director left to teach for a month at Semester at Sea! She just got back (June 15th!)

Starting off my 3rd week, a new Assistant Director for Parent Programs (not my area but within our office) started on the same day we left for our retreat! We headed out to a 4H Center’s facilities in Columbiana, AL and I finally got to meet the Parent Ambassadors! This retreat was an over night gig then we headed back to Tuscaloosa to start our week long training before the 1st Orientation (which happened, May 25th).

half of the PA team doing some challenge course exercises.

During this training I got to learn a lot about orientation as well as the campus. Now, I didn’t attend everything because I do not work directly with orientation, however I do work along side orientation. I got a tour of the stadium and well as had lunch inside of the press box! Neatest thing ever! My supervisor and a coordinator in the FYE office and I made a presentation to the Avanti (Student Orientation Leaders) and PA’s (Parent Ambassadors for our Parent Orientation) about our office. This was on Tuesday. The very next day my supervisor had to get her appendix taken out, unknown to her & the rest of us that her appendix had actually burst the week before!! How crazy! She immediately got it taken out & was out for the next two weeks. Now, this was an unexpected change I didn’t know would happen, but I embraced it.

The coordinator & I worked a schedule and figured out who would do what but we also had to work in the fact that she was leaving for this next week on vacation! So, in reality, I was the only one from my office to be working for that next week, which was the very 1st week of orientation. Another pro staff from the office (our office includes: SA Communications, FYE, and Parent Programs) was able to come to the rescue and present alongside of me during that first week.

ridgecrest south- my residence hall for the summer (houses 966 students)

Now, I am actually happy that this happened to me at this time. It allowed for me to embrace the changes and look to the future and made me realize that I am exactly where I should be. I figured out what I needed to do & didn’t look back- there was no time for me to ‘be afraid’, I had a job to do and I did it, the best that I could.  I had to educate the incoming students on the FYE programs and resources that our office provides to them as well as supervise our student coordinator! Talk about a lot of responsibility during my first 3 1/2 weeks on the job!

I had constant support from my wonderful supervisor and from the other professional staff that is involved with orientation, as well as the awesome PAs!  I am so grateful for them!

The FYE Coordinator came back & we go to work on being awesome doing our presentations and I got used to presenting with someone new and then my lovely supervisor came back, not 100% just yet but she was there for me, and was more than just an e-mail (which I thought she had just become)!

I have already gotten to embrace so much during my time here. I can’t believe everything that I get to work on, the amazing people that I am meeting and gaining meaningful friendships with, and the awesome experiences that I am getting to have- both personally and professionally. I am so lucky.

front door to the Delta Zeta house

And as a promise to myself (and you), Sundays will be reflection days (who DOESN’T like reflection?!)

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