They Will Return

They will return, they always will, the students that is. This week we started our student staff training, which has been marked by sharing stories, going over expectations, and extremely late nights. I think back to the end of last spring semester and how ready I was to wrap everything up, pack up the academic year, and say good bye to the staff and just a few days ago I could hardly wait for the students to come back. All of a sudden it was worth working long hours to get prepared for even longer workdays, crafting door decorations to start building a community among your team, and making documents all day to set your processes up for the year. I have found it interesting that there are so many emotions associated with this time of year. I keep finding myself overwhelmed, tired, happy, hopeful, ambitious, and so many more. I have used this time to reflect on how I can make sure I am my best for my students, because they will always return.

Utilize returning knowledge. Isn’t it so nice when you can ask a colleague for advice on a procedure or how to find something within your department? I know I truly enjoy being able to collaborate with my colleagues and hearing different ideas from my peers. This year I am the only coordinator returning to my complex coordinator team of three and I have caught myself in a balancing act of sharing my knowledge and allowing room for autonomy and creativity of a new team. It has been a humbling experience serving as a returner and has made me appreciate my experiences as a graduate student even more, but it has also helped me value the returning knowledge that exists and will exist wherever I go. This tweet from Ann Marie Klotz truly encompassed this idea for me as well.

Prioritize the “extras”.  I believe that there will always be more work to do. We can do so much in a day and there is so much that we need to do. I often catch myself wanting to do extra things that will make my staff smile or other ways to get involved, but at times I need to remind myself that these are extra experiences. Sometimes I want to put these things, such as making a goodie bag for my staff, at the top of my list because they are “fun” but I have to remind myself that it is not essential.

“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis de Assisi

This quote I have found is the best way for me to prioritize and accomplish my goals.

When do your students return? I hope it is soon! What are you going to do to be the best you for your students?

In peace,

Ryan Bye 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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