Cat Mattis—I was looking through my past Winging It posts and was astonished at the fact I haven’t posted anything about my job yet! I have been working for Prevention and Outreach Services for almost a year and a half now as a Student Health Advocate. My job is to table around campus educating students on making healthy decisions.
My job can be very difficult sometimes for two main reasons. I’m sure most people know, college students do not like to be told what to do. On top of that, college students don’t like to stop at tables.
I can’t blame students as much for not stopping at tables, I was the same way before I was hired for this job. I had the same ideas that the people standing at the tables in the Union were just trying to get my email to send me spam emails. This job has changed my perspective on people that stand at those tables and that’s only the smallest impact this job has had on me.
There are two sides to Prevention and Outreach Services, the first one is The Center for Select Respect, which discusses topics like unhealthy relationships, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The second side (ME!) is the Student Health Advocate side. We discuss topics like mental health, mindfulness, fitness, nutrition and stress. Both sides also do tabling for Party Smart and EagleCheck.
The most significant difference this job has had on me is that before I was able to table and educate others, I had to educate myself first. I cared about being healthy before this job, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to name the proper serving size for fruit needed per day or the amount of steps everyone should walk. By bettering the Brockport community, I had to better myself and I do try very hard to practice what I preach.
As a Student Health Advocate, I really do feel as though I am making a positive change in the Brockport community. Even though there are some students that will avoid eye contact and walk right by me, the students that come over and participate in the activities are worth it. Whenever I see a student’s face light up when they learn something new and say things like “wow, maybe I should start drinking tea,” my day is made simply because I feel like I made a difference in that person’s day.
Feeling like I have an impact on my community is an extremely rewarding feeling and it’s why I am proud to say I am a Student Health Advocate.