Finishing the Year Strong

It’s April. There are only a few weeks left until finals. There is hope in the air. …But there are also a few weeks left until finals. Our students are tired. We’re getting a little (maybe a lot) tired. There are banquets galore coming up; there are end of the year reports that must be written; there are goodbyes that must happen. All in all it’s time to wrap business up.

We all enjoy our work. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. But, I think there is a bit of relief when summer rolls around. There are less student issues that need immediate follow-up on; there are significantly less emails; and the summer is just more relaxed in general. (With the exception of those who work in Summer Conferencing. It’s just gearing up. More power to you!)

Here’s my deal. I read many of your tweets. Lately I have been reading tweets that are very honest about rough days or long days or frustrating days. I definitely appreciate your honest, but I just want to hug all of my friends out there, all of you who are putting in many hours to change the lives of your students. So while we are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, I am asking you to pause in the midst of this hectic last month and breathe. What are the things that keep you going?

This is my list of things that center me, that make me smile, and keep me going strong.
· Dancing to my alarm ring tone in bed to wake myself up.
· Singing amazingly (obnoxiously) in the shower.
· Putting on awesome shoes in the morning.
· Stopping by my co-workers/friends’ offices on my way to my office.
· Talking with students.
· Checking things off the to-do list.
· Smelling the newly planted spring flowers.
· Laughing with my staff and students during work, and with my friends after.
· Going to my Pilates, Willpower & Grace, or Step classes throughout the week.
· Running around campus, and by the creek that babbles through town.
· Painting my toes.
· Donating clothes and things I don’t use any more.
· Eating my standard few handfuls of chocolate chips after dinner.
· Calling a friend.
· Calling my mom.
· Watching the newest episode of New Girl.
· More dancing.
· More singing.

If these help, use them. If not, make your own list. Don’t just make the list. Act on it. Tweet me with what centers you! And finish your year strong!

Katie Schmalzel

Student Affairs - the First Years

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