Time for Motivation!

by Jimmy Luckman
@JimmyLuckman

As we are approach the end of the semester, it is important to acknowledge that stress levels tend to increase, as operations are starting to close for the fall, while simultaneously preparing for what lies ahead in the spring semester. Although it is easy to get caught up in the checklist and looking forward to finally completing the semester; it is important to take the time to help motivate your fellow peers and student workers. This specific blog explores ways to help motivate student workers; however, this could also be applied to fellow co-workers within your department.

While the semester is coming to an end it is import to process that students workers are balancing demands that range from academics, job responsibilities, extracurricular activities, and additional tasks that could be potentially time consuming. As a profession, we should make sure that we take the time to value and appreciate the work and time students are putting into their position to ensure that the end of the semester tasks are completed efficiently. I recently just finished my undergraduate experience this past May, and I remember the long nights of being on call, handling incidents, while also writing final papers and studying for exams. Although the end of the semester were always personally difficult for me, I enjoyed it when my supervisors would go out of their way to encourage and motivate me. As I start to create and construct my own supervisory style, I know that I would like to make student works feel valued and motivated throughout the semester, by showing them gratitude.

The end of the semester can be a stressful, as students have finals while also making sure that they complete tasks assigned to them by their department. Many student affairs departments, function off the support and diligence by these student workers. Although we remind students of the work that they must complete, there can be times that we forget to remind them that their work is valued. Instead of waiting at the end of the semester to thank student workers for their dedication and hard work, we could make a conscious effort to show appreciate throughout the semester to help encourage and motivate them as they approach a rather challenging portion of the semester.

Currently I am a Graduate Assistant Residence Hall Direct (GARHD) for a first year building where I supervise a team of 12 resident assistants. Throughout the semester, I place different treats within their mailboxes and a handwritten note, which is where they pick up flyers to hang up within their halls. I typically choose a treat that corresponds to a pun, because that is my sense of humor and I would like to think that my team enjoys it. This semester I gave the following treats to the RAs:


  • Smarties: “Thanks for being such a smarty pants we Really Appreciate you!”
  • Life Savers: “Every riverboat needs a ReliAble lifesaver. Thanks for being here to welcome family and guests during Family weekend!” (Reilly Hall’s building mascot is the riverboat which helpful context to this pun).

Student Affairs - the First Years

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