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Wednesday was my first day as the new instructor at my university. The night before, I had prepared myself for my first day and organized everything so the grad student-to-instructor transition would go smoothly. By day, I was the typical graduate student: I attended my classes, took notes, and glanced at my social networks in between. However, when 5:00 PM hit, I became an instructor–the new instructor for Computer Literacy for undergraduate students.


The transition went so smoothly that I forgot I was even enrolled as a graduate student. I created a sign in sheet and watched as it floated around the room from student to student. Then the last student signed. She put her pen down, walked up to my podium and handed it to me. I glanced at it for a moment once it arrived back to me, and then I took a deep breath, and I taught.

Ralph Lauren Blouse | Tommy Hilfiger Khakis (thrifted) | Madison Studio Cardigan (thrifted)

I lectured. I lectured on how important this course would be to every recent college graduate entering and coexisting with the professionally employed. I lectured on how since this course was a required course to graduate, that it was vital that they attend class regularly, turn in assignments promptly, and notify me if there was anything needed so that I could render as much assistance as I could.

I laughed. I joked. I smiled. I had fun.

Merona Loafers (thrifted)

I dismissed the class early because the actual instruction begins next week. But to my surprise, majority of them remained. They wanted to hear about the life I lived as an undergraduate, not even a year ago, and my life now as a graduate student. How do/did you balance it all? How do/did manage to keep from going insane? Just how do you do it?

I leaned against the desk, sort of like your elementary teacher did, and I smiled and responded,


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  1. K. Rock

    January 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Congrats on your first day!

  2. DaenelT

    January 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Yay! I’m glad everything went well. I so miss teaching. Enjoy it!

  3. CeCe

    January 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    How Exciting!! It’s almost like living a double life. Student by day and teacher by night. Glad you had a good first day.

  4. Regena

    January 18, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Congrats on your new assignment!

  5. Teems

    January 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I agree with cece. Pretty cool. Congratulations! I haven’t had much to balance yet though.

  6. Lecie

    January 19, 2013 at 1:10 am

    That’s really awesome. Good luck and keep on rocking it!

  7. Kimberly

    January 19, 2013 at 8:26 am

    WOW! What can’t you do! This post was much more inspiring than you know and I’m glad to forward it to my cousin who is currently looking for work and thinking about going back to school for her Masters! I’m happy and proud for you! You’re doing so well and definitely are an inspiration! Keep up the amazingness, and keep sharing it with us too. ;]


    1. Rae

      January 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      LOL! Honestly, I truly feel like there is nothing I can’t do right now. My confidence level is really through the roof. I’m glad I can be an inspiration so thank you!

  8. Tanay

    January 19, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Congrats on your first day! Amazing :)

  9. Keys

    January 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Oh so cool! congrats on your first day! hopefully it goes smooth for the rest of the time :)

  10. Jessica

    January 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Looking mighty official there! haha. I’m glad your first day went great. Sounds to me that you were a natural! Good luck during future instruction.

  11. Hanny

    January 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I’m so proud of you!!! I love how excited they were to wanted to stay instead of leaving in early. Can’t wait to hear more about your teaching class. I wish I could teach a marketing class to undergrads.

  12. Kim @ Team Howard

    January 21, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Congrats on surviving your first day as an instructor! Sounds like you rocked it!

  13. Carrie

    January 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Wow! You look great for your first day of instructing! Very professional. I wish I had more of a professional look. Especially since I consider myself as a business woman now. =)

    I’m glad everything went well for you! It feels good to grab multiple people’s attention and have them listen to you! :D

    Have fun!

    1. Rae

      January 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      The look is easy to achieve.. trust me. And at my university, most of the business majors are required to dress a certain way because they constantly have visitors from companies. In my opinion, it’d definitely be a good thing for you. When you look professional, you act professionally.

  14. Mimi

    January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Congrat!! I am so proud of you lil sis. I so want to teach undergrad. I guess I need to look into making that happen. Almost a year since I finished my MBA

    1. Rae

      January 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

      I promise, you would LOVE it!

  15. Faith

    January 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm


    So glad your first day went so well!

  16. Wanda

    January 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I love your answer to how you did it….God. Amen to that and congrats on all your accomplishments. My mom is an educator and has been for many years, it is the most noble profession and you have to have a certain quality of sprit, not to mention passion and heart to do it just right. Looks like you have that, you look the part too.

  17. G K

    January 22, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Love your “teacher” outfit. But I’ve got some good news and bad news for you: you LOOK like you’re fresh out of undergrad — so young! I’m not sure I know exactly how old you are (I’m assuming several years younger than my 30 years), but I began teaching at 22 or 23. I looked SO YOUNG and boy did I hate that. I teach at a mega high school (where you could never know every teacher you work with), and some of my colleagues would mistake me for students. I was fine with that — it was just the teenage BOYS. And then my husband was a football coach. His players…yeah.

    As a result, I was NOT nice my first year (proud of you for not letting your appearance force you to build a wall). I was all about business, failing to build relationships with my students. My biggest teaching regret for sure. Luckily I learned by the next school year that I could relax. And it’s been an amazing ride ever since.

    You look great! So glad your first day was great!

    1. Rae

      January 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Well, that’s going to be kinda hard since most of my students are much older than me and I’m 25. LOL!

      Thank you for sharing your first experience. I wondered about just how tough I should be where I don’t seem approachable. But, it all seemed to work out.

  18. GG

    January 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

    So proud of you and inspired!!!

  19. Tamara

    January 25, 2013 at 12:45 am

    There are no words that can fully explain how proud I am for you. Not only that, but how much you inspire me. Not every day (or at all!) do I hear of a successful, african american, Louisianian, FEMALE succeed and flourish before, during, and after college. I am sure they are out there, but it makes it that much more REAL to know someone. It gives me hope that if I keep on pushing and achieving like I have so far, that I one day may be in your (thrifted; hehe) shoes. Now, granted I wouldn’t touch being an instructor with a 10ft pole…but who knows! I knew you would knock em dead. At least the boys anyway (their just like high school idiots; daydreaming and crushing over their female teachers). I know they adore you already! ^_^ PS- I have my first Graphic Design job interview TOMORROW! Can you say, sweaty palms? Lol

    1. Rae

      January 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you so much Tamara. I never thought I’d be an instructor either and I never really wanted to. I saw myself behind the scenes, but things change. I’m not sure if this is the route that I’ll be taking, but I definitely won’t rule it out.

      From what I know about you, is that you are a very detailed, patient, and intelligent woman. You are beautiful–inside and out and I’m more than glad I can say that I know you and that I’ve met you.

      I’m sure you’ll do well tomorrow. Know that you are capable.. MORE than capable. Trust in God, Love!

      (And I just LOVED that thrifted shoe comment. LOL!)

  20. Martina

    January 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Yes, God is so Amazing right? Glad your first day was awesome:-)

  21. Dre

    January 29, 2013 at 8:42 am

    You go girl! Congratulations on your new position! You are truly an inspiration <3

  22. Josie

    February 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Wow congratulations! Very inspirational!

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