They're Back

by Jimmy Kelly

The students are back! Campus wide staff trainings have just begun, so the first handfuls of student leaders have returned to campus! It’s a lively change from the past few weeks of summer when campus is basically a ghost town the majority of the time. For some reason, earlier this week when I thought of my students returning, the movie We’re Back: A Dinosaur’s Story popped into my head. For those of you who haven’t heard of the movie, the main premise is that Dinosaurs are brought to present day New York City by a scientist, who makes them tame with magic cereal – yes, this is a cartoon movie and not some weird sci-fi film gone awry. You may not see the connection at first, heck I didn’t even see the connection at first. But if you think hard…really hard, there are some similarities between the two. Imagine that the bustling New York City is your slow and quiet campus during the summer, as Fall nears students (the lovely dinos) return to bring joy, laughter, and excitement back to campus and our offices. The academic year is the adventure experienced throughout the film with ups and downs throughout. Regardless of the limited connection between the two, it’s a really fun movie that everyone should see and the thought of it sends waves of nostalgia crashing through my pores.

Back to the point I was trying to make; the students are back! Training has been going on for a solid three days now and should be wrapping up shortly, and what I can say is that this year’s training has by far been the best training I’ve been a part of. The students have been engaged, we’ve staggered the “boring, need to know” information with interaction and fun. Being in Wellness & Recreation, much of what we do is fun, so we are trying to exude that attitude onto our students, and I can see it working. It’s very refreshing and exciting. We’ve had a lot of change this past summer from renovated facilities and new programs to new students and new professional staff. I am tremendously excited and grateful to have the professional staff that we have, our working relationships truly make coming to work a joy.

As we head towards the start of the academic year and the rest of the students return, I am challenging myself to remember this feeling of excitement and carry it throughout the entire year. Sure it may be difficult during those late night staff meetings and those days where nothing seems to go right, but getting back to the roots of what this career is about is crucial to staying upbeat and positive in the long run.

I can only hope that everyone’s trainings and start to the academic year are just as great as what we are experiencing here at Stetson!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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