Refreshing Summer

by Maritza Torres

Is it just me or has summer flown by super fast?! I cannot believe August is almost here and now thinking about it has me anxious. So I ask myself what exactly have I done this summer? Last year I was fortunate to have spent 10 days in Puerto Rico. Now that to me was a real vacation! However, this summer I wasn’t able to do so. However, was my summer a waste? Absolutely not! One experience that I continuously reflect on is when I attended the New Professionals Institute (NPI) this past June.

Now, I won’t go into detail as to exactly what NPI is because I do not want to spoil the experience to those that haven’t attended yet. Basically what NPI is for those that don’t know was a week long retreat where you are with 40 something of your peers and 6 faculty mentors (range from deans and VPSA’s) and you reflect on your experiences as a new professional both professionally and personally. One of the sessions was about goal setting. Now I’m going to be honest and admit that I’m horrible at goal setting and really it’s not one of my favorite things. I’m just bad at writing things down in general. For the sake of NPI though I went along and wrote down my personal and professional goals. One of my personal goals was actually to focus on my health and wellness.

Last fall semester I was on top of my health and wellness game. I had a trainer, did CrossFit, attempted at eating better and overall was really happy. However, spring semester happened. Things went downhill from there. I just was not myself anymore. I was constantly irritated, was feeling pretty down, and just felt “off”. NPI was really the first time since the end of spring semester/beginning of summer that I have been able to actually sit down and think. I realized I wasn’t myself because I did not make myself my priority. I’m always the type of person to put down anything I was doing to help others even if that meant pushing my own needs aside. I realized it was time to put Maritza first again. I’m still able to help my family, friends, colleagues, students etc. However, no longer will I sacrifice my own happiness/needs in order to do so. This was a HUGE epiphany for me! And what a difference it has made!
It has been a month since I’ve graduate from NPI, which I forgot to mention was one of the most amazing professional development experiences I have had and truly recommend all new professionals to take advantage of! Anyway, since NPI graduation I have never felt better! I’m eating better (for real this time!), working out 3-4 times a week, have a trainer, and just feel better overall! I know if I’m not at my best personally then I won’t be at my best professionally. Since I’m feeling better I’m able to focus on my other goals (maybe you will see them in future blog posts!?) with a sense of clarity and purpose. I hope I maintain the motivation to remember to keep myself as a priority as we rapidly approach a new academic year. I will make sure to look back at my experience at NPI and my summer for that motivation. For now, I’m going to enjoy the last few weeks of summer as much as possible and continue to stay focused on my goals. I know that I. Got. This.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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