Weathering the Back to School Storm

Having lived in Florida for most of my life, I’ve become accustomed to the frenzy that accompanies the start of fall. However, we face the dual frenzy of also having to contend with hurricane season.  I’m starting to realize that the two phenomena aren’t all that different! How?

The heightened sense of expectation. Unlike other storms like tornados or flash floods, hurricanes allow for those affected to prepare, leading to a sense of anticipation and nervousness as the storm approaches. The start of the school year is no different- we prepare for it, agonize about it (think of the Tweets and Facebook post about the onslaught of August), and even do drills for it, in the form of retreats and student staff training. We know the storm is coming, and we try to hunker down and prepare accordingly.

All the STUFF that accompanies it. Those who work with residence life know what I’m saying. As the vans, SUVs, and UHauls roll up toward the residence halls, we see varying levels of preparation and purchase for the storm. Some come minimally packed, others clearly expect the storm to last for months. But regardless, we see that students are seeing the checklists created by Bed, Bath and Beyond, and they are adhering to the guidelines set! And just as some in the path of the storm treat it as doomsday, preparing for the seeming end of the world, we also have students who pack as though their residence hall room is the size of a Best Buy. Oh, the looks on their faces when they see their rooms…

Successful weathering requires teamwork.  Can you prepare for a hurricane alone? Perhaps. But just as with the work we do, the preparation is far more effective (and fun!) when you work together. Whether it’s making sure the windows are boarded up, or ensuring that organizations are registered for the involvement fair, it takes a cast of thousands (okay, maybe fewer) to make this time of year safe and successful.

Many of us are in the path of one storm or another right now, and I wish you all the best of luck and a safe start to the year! 

Amma Marfo

Student Affairs - the First Years

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