This year I decided my theme was going to be, inspiring others through self-empowerment with self-discovery, because graduate school, my assistantship, and other life events have led me to truly think about the ways that we discover and empower ourselves. This year I have tried to focus on the many ways I have discovered my own empowerment and myself. Below are three questions I ask myself on a regular basis and that is how I know they are/have been true instruments on my path.

Why run? When I am out of breath, pain in my calves, and Let it Rock or We Found Love (my two power songs on the Nike Running app) I ask myself why am I running? I think it started off as a way to work on fitness and has evolved as a healthy way to focus on me. Through running I am able to concentrate on my health, but more importantly every time I run I am taking time to focus on my thoughts, taking a break from the to do lists, and to just breathe (really, I have to focus on my breath if I want to reach my distance goals). Taking this time, for just myself, has taught me the importance of this time.

Why write? I love writing. I love writing for this blog, creative writing, and even writing for class. I enjoy seeing my thoughts transcribed into tangible words, it is actually very helpful when processing information. So asking myself why I write, I know the answer is it is one of the best ways for me to give back and focus on the us. This blog allows me to contribute to this field in a unique way. Taking the time every day, every week, to write brings a special attention to my role in the awesome communities I belong to.

Why this work? On the busiest, frantic, and tiresome days I sometimes ask, why this work, why this field? Often, we talk about those moments where students let us know how the appreciate what we have done, and as cliché as that is I agree. But I also, after my Access and Equity class this semester, I also think about the opportunity we have to change the face of higher education. This work lets me focus on the larger picture or group or community, we all have the chance to make an impact beyond advising a student group, we have the chance to change (yes, I am about to say it) lives.

What questions do you ask yourself on a regular basis? How do you find ways you ways to empower yourself? Please share with me.

In peace,

Ryan Bye 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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