Today is my last day of employment at Park University.
It is truly bittersweet. I am sitting alone in my office today feeling very nostalgic and somewhat anxious. Overall I just don’t like change, but sometimes you just have to summon up the courage to embrace change for yourself when you know it is the best move for you.
I’ve been driving to Park University almost every day since we moved to Kansas City. For 3 and 1/2 years, I’ve grappled with the limited parking, the tons of walking required to get from where you parked to the building you’re headed to, and watched the seasons change with the ‘Hogwarts-esque’ towering building of MacKay in the background.
As a student, I had amazing classes, classmates, and even better professors. I couldn’t have asked for better departmental faculty to guide me as I earned and completed my Bachelor’s degree.
Shortly before my rapidly approaching graduation, I was sitting in a meeting as the student representative for the Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee and this woman I had been watching in these meetings for the past few months handed out an organizational chart for her department to depict a restructuring they had recently gone through. The handout showed two positions currently open within her department. Up until this point, this woman had shown herself in these meetings to be organized, wonderfully candid, and articulate. I knew that she was someone I could potentially see myself working for and what better place to work than my soon-to-be alma mater?
After getting the job in student accounts working directly under her, I was literally thrust into the middle of chaos. The department was in the middle of Spring enrollment confirmation, they’d just switched to an entirely new phone system, and I wasn’t the only new hire they were trying to train. It was crazy to say the least. Add to that the fact that I was given the responsibility for processing all third party tuition assistance invoices each term. ME. The English major. Who hates Math. That was super fun to figure out.
Despite the chaos and the stress, I’ve enjoyed my job because I quickly grew to like most of the people I worked with and I loved my boss. She was an amazing trainer, an avid support, one of those true go-getters, and one of the best examples of outstanding leadership I have ever encountered. You just don’t find incredible bosses like that very often and it is even rarer that you eventually become good friends with them. Some things in life are irreplaceable.
I have become friends with so many of my Park coworkers, including the friendships formed back when I was a student and work study….Now (even though leaving Park is absolutely the best move for me) I have to say goodbye to these wonderful people and there’s been a lump in my throat all morning long.
So even though it was my own choice to leave, I will still miss the people I met through Park and will miss seeing their faces everyday. One of the biggest things I have learned in my life is that time moves us all along. I’ve had to make new friends so often in my life it should be considered inhumane (especially for an introvert! haha). From this experience, I’ve also learned that whether life brings you new seasonal friends or new forever friends, you have to take advantage of every moment and cherish each of them for as long as you possibly can…