Countdown to Conference

by Olivia Barker
@oliviabark

There is nothing as exciting to a Student Affairs professional as conference season! Catching up with old friends, meeting new friends and the amazing learning that takes place...not to mention getting to explore a cool city! I think I am going to show my age with this post, but it’s something all new professionals need to hear...here we go.

NEW ORLEANS: home to booze, beads and another b word that Chelsea Handler is much more comfortable saying, and showing, than I am. This place is party central and I know a ton of the SA pros are pumped to be in

N’awlins for NASPA’s annual conference, but I can’t help but think about how sloppy this could get. Don’t get me wrong, I am pumped. I love New Orleans’ culture, music, food and history, but I also know I have a hard time saying no to Big Ass Beers and Hand Grenades. If this is your first time in New Orleans, I really recommend playing it safe and be sure you know your limits! I know I sound old and boring, but the truth is you’re at this conference to learn and grow as a professional, meet new people and catch up with old friends and it’s really hard to do that when you’re still in your hotel room fighting your stomach and trying to keep your head from exploding. HAVE FUN, but be sure you can still attend sessions and be your best self. NASPA is known for the amazing connections you make. You will sit next to a VP from another institution, you will be meeting top level professionals and they will remember the [insert gender pronoun here] who they sat next to in a session that smelled like Bourbon Street and last night’s regret!

New Orleans is an amazing city. This will be my 5th or 6th trip and I can’t wait to do all of my favorite things while there. I absolutely plan on getting my palm read, eating all the foods and having a Hand Grenade, but I also plan on attending sessions and spending time with friends. If you want to party hard, plan to arrive a few days early or schedule your flight for a couple of days late. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to experience all New Orleans has to offer.

Be sure to check out my post from last year. I posted my 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Conference and I still stand by those 10 things! Conferencing is one of my favorite things to do and I hope you all have an amazing experience. See you in the Big Easy!

Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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