by Katie Yeaton
As student affairs professionals, we know that learning experiences are a two way street. We learn from our students everyday and we apply these understandings to our practice. I want to take the time to reflect on top three major learning experiences my students have taught me.
1. Time-Management is Key: As an Academic Success Coach and student affairs educator, I feel like this point can be brushed over in everyday conversation. What my students have taught me this semester is to take personal time and be honest with yourself when you are feeling lousy or homesick. Be an authentic leader. Show others you are genuine and, while you could push-through, sometimes you need to delegate your responsibilities in order to take care of yourself. Remember, there are only 24-hours in a day and we cannot all be fortunate enough to have a time-turner.
2. Self-Care is Vital: When talking with first-year students, one theme I have seen is a negative attitude towards self-care or time where they are not working. Over the course of the semester I have also seen these attitudes change as students realize they need to take care of themselves first before assisting others. Taking time to recharge and focus on something other than school can help a student create a healthy balance between personal life, school, and work. The major difference between self-care and time-management is the recharge time. Time-management is the organization and planning component, self-care is the action of implementing this schedule. My students have shown me that both are necessary, but neither will be perfect.
3. Be Patient: Whether trying to balance classes, work, and a personal life, or changing a major, my students have shown me the value of patience. What we are working for will come with time and effort. There is no use in worrying over something that has not yet occurred. Be zen, take a deep breath and proceed. Know that you are enough and you can succeed by learning and improving everyday.
While there are many more points I can discuss--like “free” food in college--I hope this brief reflection has inspired you to take a moment and consider your semester. What have your students taught you? What do you want to continue for next semester? What do you want to change or improve for next semester? Who do you feel needs some recognition and encouragement to keep going in college/their job/etc.?
Best wishes for finals week!