ROAD TRIP



My alarm went off at 5:30 AM, much much too early for me to be up. I looked out my window and what do you know the forecast was true. Snow. This is not unusual in South Bend, IN but it did mean that my normal 8 minute commute with clear weather conditions would become a 15 minute commute. Every minute counts.

I couldn’t help but be excited so early in the morning at the thought of hitting the open road with the students I advise. In fact, it was just a few years prior that I was in the student’s position heading to retreats or conferences with a staff advisor. I always loved getting to know our advisors on road trips.

Did I mention I took six girls to Nashville for the National Association of Campus Activities? It’s 6:10 AM now, I’ve had my orange juice for the day and I’m high energy. As the driver, this awake attitude was mandatory for me. “Let’s depart girls” and the overwhelming response from the group... “Starbucks run.” So 6:30 AM we finally hit the open road.

To sum up the rest of this experience: We were pulled over twice (once unfair that resulted in a ticket!), a student got sick after a restaurant we ate at, we had some of the best barbeque down South (Jim N’ Nicks), lot’s of laughter, lot’s of singing, and well, this road trip will be one we remember for a long time.

Now to cover the conference, what great surprises running into a former Student Affairs – the First Years weekly writer Amma Marfo! So cool to meet the people you work with on a weekly basis, and I had no idea she would be making an appearance at the conference. I also ran into a cohort member who I have not seen since graduate school, shout out to Carly James and to my graduate program. Seeing old friends in the field and meeting our peers is a very humbling experience.

Have any of you had to reassess why you’re involved in specific activity? In this case, after day one focusing on my students I forgot to focus on what I wanted to get from the conference. I made learning outcomes on day two! I eventually gained the conference excitement I needed to survive the busy hustle of NACA to truly celebrate being around peers .

Before NACA I was running full speed, I kept running through the NACA experience, and ran all the way through this Saturday where I was able to sleep in for the first time in what feels like months. It feels good to breathe easy this weekend with only one weekend event.

And for all of you running, remember to take a second to breathe. Only then is it ok to pick up speed again.

Joshua Wilson
@jjwil325

Student Affairs - the First Years

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