What It’s Like to Work Late Nights by Alex Jantz
Getting into Baylor’s HESA program was one of the most exciting things to ever happen for me. I was going to get to go to my dream school for two more years and on top of that I landed my first-choice apprenticeship which meant that I would get to co-advise a student organization on campus and work in student activities. That being said, the role I have now is not the role that I originally thought I would—it’s even better than I ever could have imagined.
In the summer before my HESA experience started, I called my supervisor to check in and she informed me that my role was changing: I was going to be part of developing a new late-night program on campus that would host events every week. This meant that I had to plan twenty-four events in my first year (WOW). I was overwhelmed, scared, and exhilarated all at the same time.
Flash forward to my first semester of graduate school and I can tell you that I quickly became adept at planning events, knowing what questions to ask, ways to be prepared for worst case scenarios, and thinking in a way that was completely different from the way I had before the process started. This was challenging in all the ways that I anticipated. It was a beautiful experience and it forced me to grow as a professional and it also taught me to reflect on what it means to be a Student Affairs professional.
In my role, since I work Saturday nights, there are a lot of times where I don’t get to go get dinner with my cohort or hang out at a game night. There are times when I can’t go to a football game with the group or I have to leave early. At times these things can make me really sad, BUT this position has opened the door for opportunities that I would not have in any other role. Working with students is beautiful work and when you are with them from 9pm to 1am every weekend, you start to see who they are when they let their walls down. I have watched my students grow and develop, I have gotten to sit and laugh with them and experience life with them in a way that I would not have been able to do in another capacity. Not only that, but I have also gotten to watch my students learn what it means to put on an event and to take true ownership of it —watched them have pride in something and to want it to succeed. So while I want to pout sometimes because I struggle with the fear of missing out with my cohort friends, I know that if I were anywhere else on a Saturday night I would have the fear of missing out on experiences with my students.
I love what I do and I am so thankful for all the opportunities my apprenticeship has given me. I knew that I loved Student Affairs when I got into HESA, but my role has helped me develop an even deeper love and passion for working with students. I have a renewed passion for this work and I am so very excited to see where this field takes me in the future—and that passion stems from a challenge I was in no way prepared for. I want to leave this blog with one piece of advice: as you venture into your grad school journey, allow yourself to be open to any and all opportunities because it is the challenges that you think you can’t face that may lead you to a better understanding of who you are as a person—at least it did for me.