For most recent grads and young professionals, back-to-school season is a lovely reminder that you’re no longer dealing with final papers, dreadful professors and those muggy bus rides spent secretly watching your seat partner lose horribly in candy crush. Instead, we can celebrate the accomplishment of graduating while covertly resenting our peers who still get to experience college.
Working in higher education, however, provides a unique experience when it comes to back-to-school season. It used to be that back-to-school meant the last day of my summer job, making two, three, or seven trips to Target for some updated apartment decor and checking my email hourly waiting for a new syllabus to appear. Those days are over.
Now, for me and most other higher ed staff, back-to-school means GO TIME. In the higher education industry, back-to-school is a time to quickly regroup and gear up for the incoming and returning students. This means planning trainings, answering parent questions, coordinating events and catering and…my least favorite: leaving for work ten minutes earlier because the traffic in town will be dreadful. It means greeting all students – incoming freshmen, returning, transfers, non-traditional, with arms wide open and saying, “this is going to be an awesome time.”
Though the lazy summer days are behind us, intricate fall projects are lining up fast. Dates are being set. Meetings are being held. Calls are being made. There is a wonderful, energetic buzz on campus that I’m totally feeding off of this year. Not to mention, some great sports are back on!
So, I would like to wish all the students and teachers of the world a very happy back-to-school season. It is important that we don’t fall into old habits that create a mundane atmosphere. It is my personal challenge to up the ante this fall and do big things within reach. For the sake of the students and all others involved, let’s keep this lively buzz going all year!
And especially for my fellow higher ed staff/faculty/leadership out there: Happy Back-To-School season to you, too! Here are a few unconventional motivational quotes to keep in mind as this semester picks up:
Posters: Startup Vitamins
What does the back to school season mean to you? How do you stay focused during this busy time of year?