This past weekend was nothing but a blast from the past and I loved it! I was fortunate enough to be invited to the wedding of two of my former students from when I worked at Akron and had a great time. Mike (the groom) was what I like to call my "1st student" and we have both been there for each other at times I think no one else really understands.
When I started my graduate assistantship at The University of Akron at a mere 21 years old in July of 2006 I was beyond petrified. New city, new job, new friends, and a whole lot of new responsibilities. One of my biggest new responsibilities was being in charge of all Greek Life events...Greek Week, Songfest, Blood Drives...etc. Well Mike was the student that was hired to plan all those with my support an guidance. When I met Mike he was a young boy with holey Hollister jeans an earring and a sorta fake tan and I think he looked at me and saw a girl (not much older than him) who was supposedly his "boss" and I think he wanted to run for the door.
I knew I was in for the ride of my life getting him and I on the same page. This was first time in my whole life that I was someones supervisor and I was lost and not very good at it. Throughout that year Mike and I definitely had our moments and challenges and I think I fired him 100 times but I would not give any of it back. We made it a successful year and we did it together. I knew no matter what Mike and I were a team...a crazy unorganized sometimes screaming at each other..but a team none the less. Our boss/employee relationship didn't end after that year Mike still came and visited while he worked in athletics and he moved into my apartment complex as well. He came to me for advice and I found myself still needing his input on my life.
As I sat in church this past Saturday and watched him get married that little boy with the holey jeans and earring was gone...he was now a man getting ready to take on the life as a husband and a father and I have never been so proud in my life. In my profession I get to work with lots of kids and be part of lots of lives. You never expect wedding invitations, you never expect to have made that big of am impact on someones life that you will make that very short list of people to be there on one of the most important days of their lives. I am so happy I made the list to see Mike and Kristine get married. When I got a chance to actually talk to Mike on his big day he simply said "this wouldn't be right if you weren't here" and I finally realized...it's all worth it.
Mike will forever feel like a little brother to me and just not a former student and I hope we remain lifelong friends. Grad school was by far the most challenging, emotional, draining two years of my life but I am so grateful to have wonderful people to remind me of where I came from,where I am going and most importantly that I am somehow making a difference.
Lots of love,