This week I had plans to close out my time at Austin Peay as a professional. Tomorrow was supposed to be my last day.
Well, best laid plans go to spoil sometimes.
Tuesday, I spent 4 hours in the hospital for the second week in a row because my doctors are concerned that I have pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure has been way too high these past two weeks, and no matter what I do, I cannot get it to come down. I have never before had any blood pressure problems which made them come to the conclusion it was because of the pregnancy. So I had to be submitted each week to be observed for several hours and have several tests done. (Yesterday I had to collect my pee for 24 hours in a bucket…never thought I would do that.) Right now, they do not believe I have it since all of my additional tests are coming back normal, but I have to be closely monitored from here on out just to be on the safe side.
Which means, I am now on strict bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy and have to go in twice a week for testing.
Which also meant that Tuesday was my last day of work.
Not as much closure as I was hoping for, and I hated leaving my last few projects that I had planned on closing out just half done. But as several people told me as I cried over the bed rest instruction, I have to do what is best for George.
But I digress. This post isn’t supposed to be about the pregnancy, it is about my time at APSU.
Much like my exit from the position, it was never something I expected.
I accepted this position the day Tom came home his deployment. At the time, I was told it was a temporary position that they had intentions of turning into full-time. I was excited about the prospect of helping with that transition, and felt that it was a perfect time to move out of housing.
What I didn’t bargain for was that even as a part-time position, it would be one of the most challenging positions I took on.
More of it was personal challenges as I thought about my self-worth. Being introduced as “part-time” or “temporary” all the time began to take it’s mental toll that I wasn’t actually a true professional. I had to dig down deep many days to be reminded of why I came to work. There were moments were I didn’t feel like I was taken seriously, and I felt like I was just a student worker or less. I had to push those comments aside, and know that this is all part of a plan in the long run, and this is just one of those hurdles that I have to get over.
As frustrating as it was to learn that my position would never go full time due to budgets and the way Obama Care was structured, and also never finding anything else in my field that allowed me to go full time, I am glad I had this position.
It allowed me to do a lot of things that I hadn’t done before.
I became a master at Excel…which for me is saying a lot.
I learned an exorbitant amount on assistive technology, which will help me in the long run when being a resource for students. The things that are available are astounding!
I learned how to speak in disability law and documentation, not fluently but I am much more aware of situations.
I was able to interact with non-traditional students which is something I had not received in my previous housing experiences.
I learned how an office of 4 staff members functions much differently than a department of hundreds.
I had the opportunity to be a classroom aide to two students, which is by far the most eye-opening professional experience I have had to date.
I was able to stay connected to my Student Affairs roots, even if it was just part-time. If anything, I do have to remember that even though I didn’t find a full-time job, I at least had something.
So while everything wasn’t great in this position and on paper it wasn’t the most challenging job, I was constantly pushed personally to define myself. And there were a lot of positives that I gained from this experience.
It was a humbling experience that I am thankful that I had. Even through the struggles, it is one of those that makes me the professional that I am. Our experiences make us, and I am going to take that for what it is and be thankful for the opportunities I was given.
And that is what I am going to choose to focus on as my time ended there.
So thanks APSU, these last 16ish months have been real!