Three Reasons I’m Obsessed with the Beginning of the School Year

by William Takewell

This is the beginning of my second year at Southern Miss. This means that much of what I have been doing has come full circle, and I am getting the opportunity to do things for the second time. One thing that I am excited for experiencing again is the beginning of the school year, and here’s why:

3. The students..ALL OF THEM… are BACK!

I know this is crazy, but I got into student affairs because of students and the experience that I had—and wanting to give them the same. I love seeing the faces of students that I haven’t seen in three months and talking to them about all that their summer has contained. It’s also great to meet the new students at events like Move-In Day and Welcome Week. It is completely re-energizing for me, and is also very nostalgic. What I wouldn’t give to run around yelling about “whose side is crunker than whose” during Orientation and Welcome Week.

2. Collaborative Efforts

So many professionals and offices as well as student leaders are made to work together during the beginning of the school year. It is extremely refreshing and is an awesome opportunity to start off on the right note. Our big collaboration at the start of the year is Move-In Day, and it may be one of the greatest collaborative efforts at our institution. Everyone works together, Residence Life, Student Activities, Union and Programs, Parking Management, campus police, athletic teams (members of which can pick up entire piles of new student belongings and carry with ease up several flights of stairs), our student groups, and of course new students and their parents. This was my second year experiencing Move-In Day at USM, and I have to say it runs like a well-oiled collaborative machine.

1. Reminder of “Why”

The start of the year is also a great reminder of my “Why.” When I refer to my “why” I mean my reason behind going into Student Affairs… ”Why” I am working 13 days straight (upon publication it will be day 10…thoughts are appreciated). I chose this profession because of the welcome weeks and first days back that are extremely hectic. While it is extremely exhausting to answer the same question at least 20 times and to answer the phone that’s ringing off of the hook with a call that has nothing to do with my office, I know that I am assisting in helping students be successful on our campus. When they come into our office or call us, they aren’t going to be shuffled around or treated like a distraction. I’m reminded to watch my tone and to practice patience with our students, I could be the reason they persist or do not persist in their college career.

What’s your favorite part of the beginning of school?

Student Affairs - the First Years

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