Getting Off Campus Matters

by Stefanie Lucas

Many of you are in the middle of move in and might find it hard to fathom taking time to go off campus right now. Getting off campus matters. As a new professional or graduate student, work in student affairs can seem all-consuming. You can be a better professional and role model for students if you find some time to get away for a bit.  Taking time outside of work to relax and take care of yourself will make you more productive during work hours.

Find something off campus to enjoy and experience. You might have to bring the duty phone with you, but take a walk in a nearby park, check a book out from the library, or see a movie. If your budget permits, check out a local gym. Include new gyms as they often offer deep discounts for new members or try out your local parks and recreation department as they sometimes offer free classes. Volunteer, go on and find an activity that interests you, or connect in a meaningful way with your local community.

I encourage you to have a few go-to activities for times where you can spare 30-60 minutes, and make a list of activities you would like to participate in that might be a half day or longer. Try to participate in the 30-60 minute activities throughout the workweek, and place these activities on your calendar.

Even though this is one of the busiest times of the academic year, if you start out early in the semester, you will find time to go off campus later in the semester too. For this academic year, I started volunteering for a national organization, took up a routine of consistently running around the neighborhood, and even went on a little overnight camping trip.

What are you planning to include in your go-to activities? What made it on your half-day or full day list?

Student Affairs - the First Years

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