Let’s Go Fly a Kite

In peace,
Ryan Bye (@ByeByeRyan) 

It has now been over a month since I started my new position (my first full-time position post-grad school), and what a month it has been! It has been filled with learning my position, training my student staff, recruiting student leaders, figuring out where I fit in, and adjusting to life in a new town. It has been fantastic! I have loved (almost) every minute of it. Sure, there have been challenging, tiring, and taxing times, but through it all I have had the pleasure of being affirmed that I am where I believe I am supposed to be. My philosophy has been, “it’s just like flying a kite”.

We’ve heard the phrase “navigating new waters”, but I think likening my experience here at Valpo as learning to fly a kite is more appropriate!

 Cast out your line: First step in flying a kite is casting out that line (I’m not an expert kite flyer so I apologize if the terminology is incorrect). Valpo is the smallest institution I have ever worked at (apx 4,000 students enrolled), which has contributed the ease in casting out my line. I already feel like I am interwoven into this community – people recognize me across campus, I get asked to help with things, and I have responsibilities to make things happen. I’ve learned to just go with this and keep casting my line out and see how high I can fly!

Pay attention to the wind direction: Sometimes the wind can get bumpy, jerk you around, and change your direction. Do you like to plan ahead? I do, and I always try to, but sometimes when starting a new job you can’t always do this but try! Try and pay attention to the direction of the wind. Be aware of when things are coming your way, ask clarifying questions, and be willing to fly in the new direction. On a more positive side, let the wind lift you up and take you higher. Let the new directions show you new ways of doing things and teach you things you never knew.

Have fun: Lastly, flying a kite is fun – so having fun with the new work is essential! Remember this when you are starting a new job – contain the excitement you had when you took the new position. It may be stressful and overwhelming at points, but as long as you are having fun it will make it easier to glide through the stressful patches.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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