It feels so good to be back on my blog! The last couple months have been crazy busy, as I have been finishing up my first year of graduate school!!! There have been several incidents and experiences that have sparked reflection and I cannot wait to share them with you throughout this summer. Luckily for you and I, this post will be absent of APA formatting (Thank God!) and may include pop culture references.
This semester has been a blur.
Over the course of the semester, I traveled to 10 different states and presented at three national conferences. I also visited four institutions (Otterbein University, Saint Louis University, Radford University, and Louisiana State University) to speak with their students about what it means to lead with courage and walk in purpose. I even got to visit my alma mater and present academic research at the College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) Annual Conference. However, none of these personal accomplishments came without sacrifice.
There were many nights where I contemplated whether this degree aligned with the plan I had for my life. I drove 300 miles through the night to make it to class on time the next morning. Struggled with imposter syndrome for the first time in my graduate program. The list of challenges and failures is never ending, but I am undefeated.
All I can say is thank you. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this academic year through various acts of kindness. I appreciate everyone who offered to read and provide feedback on a presentation proposal or academic assignment. My stomach is thankful to everyone who paid for a meal so I make this grad school stipend stretch until the next pay day. I cannot forget to shout out my people who offered up their extra beds and couches for me to sleep on when traveling out of state.
It’s the little things that matter most and all of your Twitter and Snapchat replies saying “You can do it!” and “You got this!” made the biggest difference.
My mama always told me that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and now I know what that means and more importantly, what that feels like. My village is inclusive of anyone who has ever prayed with and for me. Peers who have held me accountable for becoming the best version for myself. The employees at Domino’s and Piada who make sure my special order is correct every week I come in. This semester, I learned that it is okay to ask for help, as it is a sign of strength NOT weakness.
My village did not let forget who I was and whose I belong to.
I have also learned a lot about myself through my relationships with others. My students have been there for me since I arrived in Columbus and I would not want to be anyone else’s graduate assistant throughout my time at Ohio State. They will be the first to tell you that “Tim don’t stress. Tim don’t argue. Tim don’t panic.” And their new addition, “Tim don’t cry.” I have learned a lot from them – patience, transparency, and a love for Condado tacos – and I cannot wait to witness the social change my graduating seniors will initiate in their next roles.
Entering graduate school, my functional areas of interests were primarily in leadership development, fraternity and sorority life, and recreational sports. I have learned this year that my passions in these areas have not changed, but my purpose in Higher Education is centered on Title IX and Athletics, specifically sexual violence prevention/intervention and athletic equity (job searching next year! Lol).
I am happy to say that I will continue this work this summer and will be serving as a graduate intern at Coastal Carolina University! Home of the Chanticleers (chan-tuh-kleer), I am very grateful to be returning to the institution where I started my college career as student-athlete, with new perspective to do good work. Can’t wait to reunite with old friends, become a regular at the Conway Zaxby’s and Jade Hibachi, and sit in 501 traffic on the way to the beach!
Encourage somebody to be great today!