And What We Are Is...

I can’t believe that October is right around the corner! We are starting to gear up for midterms and Homecoming on campus, which is always an exciting time at UNI. Of course, there is opposition towards the midterm exams, but being done with them is a light at the end of tunnel. Slowly my students are falling into their routines and thus have become unmotivated towards their responsibilities. Funny thing is I’m counting down the days until I can go on vacation during winter break to see my family (whom I only see once a year). I too, have become unmotivated for work. With a case of allergy season running rampant, waking up in the morning has been a struggle for me.

Besides being exhausted from all the hours I put in, I think I’m also unmotivated because my peers across campus are as well. Earlier this week, we had our Division of Student Affairs meeting of the semester. At this meeting, our Vice President discussed some new construction plans occurring around campus, new initiatives being put in place in various departments, as well as the unwanted discussion of the university budget. While we are all trying to keep our spirits up, we are facing an immense transition at our institution. One of our colleagues passed away this summer. Our President has announced that he will retire come June 2013. Also, our enrollment went down this year (which means, a decrease in funds from the state and from student fees for departments across campus). Here we are approaching mid semester, and many feel like “blah”. So how do we keep motivated?

I sit on the Division’s Professional Development Committee, and we discussed recently about how to boost morale among our departments. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our silos, and forget that we all are struggling with similar issues. We all agreed that we should focus more on the positive aspects of our jobs, and that no matter what major changes happen to the university, our job remains the same: help the students. We want to celebrate our colleagues’ successes and support one another when times get rough. Let’s remember that each one of us brings a new perspective to the table; that we are all unique individuals with talents and strong skill sets.

So no matter how bad work gets, don’t forget that you are trying your best with what you have. And if that doesn’t get you motivated for the work week, I know something else that will…

Song of the Week: “What We Are” by the Sesame Street Muppets: 

Sing along…”and what we are is helpful, and what we are is brave, and what are we is thoughtful, and what we are is special, and what we are is confident, and what we are is persistent…”

(P.S. The artist sang this with the Sesame Street characters first, but he looks so unhappy in the video! Way to sing about how great we are with a frowny face. If you want to see that video, click here). 

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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