Even though I’ve been in Vermont for 20 days, today is officially my first 7 days of my #SAPro life. That means I started training and all that jazz! I thought it would be nice to reflect on my transition so far as it related to my personal and professional life in hopes of making sure I take a pause to think about everything that has happened, as well as allow myself the opportunity to hopefully keep this perspective somewhere for myself when I transition into my second job one day, as well as help others (if they decide to read this).
Leaving Boston was very hard. I spent nearly 4 full years in the city and really got used to the day-to-day life I was living. Two years of AmeriCorps/City Year and two years of graduate school at Northeastern University made me feel like I had structure. I knew what I was doing and everything was convenient. When I moved on July 1st, I felt sad about moving for the very first time in my life!
I admit that I cried once before moving. What made me the most sad was that I was leaving my friends that became my family over the course of 4 years. I also started to realize how convenient everything was in Boston. The bus and T shuttled me everywhere and mostly everything was walking distance. But, the big move came and went and here I am in Burlington, Vermont!
I have to say that moving in was relatively easy. I had help from my Compass (returning RD) other RDs, and grads. I truly appreciated this because I have a lot of stuff from the past 4 years of my life. It took a couple days to get things unpacked and for me to feel like I’ve settled in. I think coming into a completely new environment made me feel a little like I was on vacation. I sometimes went to sleep and thought I would be waking up in the middle of Boston with the sound of cars driving by outside. But, that wasn’t the case. I woke up to students walking the halls or silence (seriously, it’s so quiet in the summer to the point it feels loud).
I’ve had the chance to hang out with Mike Prinkey, who works at Champlain College, meet the other ACs (Area Coordinators) he works with, as well as check out the ArtsRiot Food Truck Rally! I got to check out the Burlington Farmer’s Market and walked around the different malls and Church Street.
On work side of things, I had my New Staff Orientation at UVM, which was really helpful. I did lots of paperwork over the last couple of weeks and met lots of people. Overall, I’m really liking everything. I have missed a true university/college campus feel, and UVM definitely does not disappoint on that end. Everyone has been super nice and helpful to me as well, which has been great!
My building, Marsh-Austin-Tupper Complex, or MAT, is nice. It has the traditional ResHall style corridors with singles, doubles, and triples, and my building houses the Global Gateway Program, so I’ll have lots of international students among the general population that makes up my complex.
My building, Marsh-Austin-Tupper Complex (MAT)!
The first full week of work has been filled with lots of different training sessions and meals to get the RDs together, which has been really nice! I also got to meet my grad and Assistant Residence Director (ARD) Atiya McGhee! We had lunch (from Wings over Burlington, which I had no idea there was even one here) and started our conversations about the year! It was nice to have an informal time together before we start the year with training!
This past weekend, we had our RD Retreat at Jay Peak, which was completely what I needed! It really was rejuvenating, even though we were all so sore and tired by the end of the first day! Jay Peak Resort has a water park called the Pump House. There are various slides, a lazy river (which is not so lazy, more active than you’d like), pools, an indoor wave machine, and hot tubs. This was my first time in awhile going to a water park, and my first time going on a water slide!
We got in, and because I had researched the park before, I knew there was a scary slide called La Chute (the red slide). Basically, you climb up the stairs and go to the highest point that juts outside the rood of the building. You enter a chamber and the door closes. The operator turns the key to lock you in while starting a countdown. The voice inside the chamber counts down from 3 and then the floor drops below your feet. Before you know it, you’re plunging down a nearly vertical slide (and it feels like you drop rather than slide). Your stomach feels like it goes into your throat and you feel like you just fall through a hole. Before you know it, you’re shooting up a large over-banked turn/loop and you’re sliding down (while water rains down within the slide) and you splash down.
The whole thing is over before you know it, but it’s pretty thrilling to say the least. So, what happened was, we got to the park and decided to get it over with and walked up. So, I thought there was going to be some kind of line. I was totally wrong. A couple of the RDs went first and then it was my turn. There was literally no time to think and off I went. Well, I got it over with and I had enough of that. I will say that La Chute is scarier than any roller coaster I’ve been on! I just feel like water slides are scary in general because you can flip or get stuck.
Anyway, we had a great day overall! We headed back soon after to our condo to take showers and make pizzas for dinner. The food was absolutely delicious. After that, we played some board games to get to know each other more, and you know how that goes! I will say that the Game of Things is probably now my favorite party board game compared to Apples to Apples.
After we all woke up, we cooked breakfast and left to our meeting space at the main resort hotel. They had signs for us and everything! Our view was absolutely incredible as well! After a really good talk, we got back into the cars for our ride back!
I think I’m warming up to Burlington. I have to remember that I grew up in a regular city and didn’t always used to have things so conveniently placed. I do enjoy the food in Burlington and the relatively lower numbers of people in general around town. I also became a Vermont Resident on July 18th when I converted my out of state license to a Vermont license. I waited about 40-45 minutes from walking in to leaving (with my new license in hand). That is amazing compared to the 2-4 hour waits that are regular in California!
So far, it has been a really great first 7 full days in this new job! I have a lot to learn and this year will test my ability to think on my feet and navigate a completely new environment. But, I’m trying to remain confident in myself that I will both get the support I need and that I can do my job. I probably will want to recap this next week or so with RET (Residential Education Team) training beginning, then come back again after RA training! Until then…
More to come from my new #SAPro life! The journey continues!