Tag Archives: higher education

What Back-To-School Means to Me

4 Sep

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?

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Free College Stuff You’d NEVER Buy Today

18 Dec

Leaving the old stomping grounds behind for a shot at the real world meant letting go of all the beautiful things our college years provided: friends, education, memories…and tons of free stuff.

These things, these precious gifts from departments desperately seeking attention, we took for granted. Career fairs, awareness events, involvement fairs and the like made available useless novelties that we now yearn for. Now that our checking accounts are down and our penny-pinching skills have been put to the test, we would never be caught dead spending money on these 7 things.

Streetside Cupcakes

The signature fundraiser – a bake sale! When I was rushing off to class I’d pass a beat up old folding table topped with colorful homemade cupcakes and other goodies. Delta Nu is raising funds so they don’t have to switch from Charmin to generic! Donate and receive a cupcake. Today, however, while rushing into the building after sitting in 8:00 a.m. traffic, I’d never stop for a free cupcake from some rando sitting on the side of the street. For all I know, they could be the town’s serial cat-skinner. No thank you. I’ll stick to my trusted friend Little Debbie.

Printing Services

It was awesome having a certain amount of tuition allotted for printing services. Sure I was paying for it, technically (and still will be for upwards of ten years) but I used every damn cent. 20-page paper? No problem. Design an advertisement and print in color? Cake. Student org. needs flyers? I got you, dog. Walking into a Kinkos is completely out of the question now. Not only is it totally barbaric to have to drive somewhere to print something, but if I need something I can print it at work. It’s called being resourceful. Joking, guys! Relax..

Yoga/Pilates Classes

Wasn’t it cute how the recreation centers always tried to get students to come “relax” during finals at their free yoga sesh? And if I bought the semester pass it was what, maybe $30 for four months? Well done, rec center, the only cost appropriate expense around here. Needless to say, I haven’t done yoga since graduating. Yoga classes are insanely expensive to just be standing around in loungewear breathing slowly. I do that every morning for free.

T-shirts

College was a years-long free t-shirt bonanza. I could make a quilt for Paul Bunyan’s bed with all the t-shirts I got from school. I even struggled to find storage space for all of these bad boys. The thought of spending $10+ on a t-shirt today provides utter disgust. Not to mention, I still have nowhere to put a new t-shirt  in my cramped downtown apartment with a sorry excuse for a closet. Instead, I’ll hang on to every last bit of those memory-filled pieces of cheap cotton and wear them proudly, pit stains and all. 

Movie Screenings

In an effort to gain a followership and member base, student orgs all over campus would find ways to host free movie screenings complete with cheese pizza (cheapskates) and soda. I almost never went, but now I realize that I’d have to sell my grandmother’s watch to be able to afford a Carmike Cinemas feature presentation. Now I’ll NEVER see Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. Netflix it is.

Women’s Basketball Tickets

Occasionally, probably only once, I reluctantly got up off my ass to go to a women’s basketball game…to get a free t-shirt. Sometimes the arena gave students free pizza. Why is it always pizza? Sometimes, on Greek Night, it was THE place to be because heaven forbid you miss a social opportunity to “network” with the other Greeks. After the season ended, though, and especially upon walking across that stage, women’s basketball has been nothing but a mere portion of a grain of sand in my cerebral cortex. The WNBA isn’t a real thing, right? It’s probably a no-tickets-necessary kind of thing because otherwise, I’d rather listen to Nickelback Radio.

SWAG

Little did I know when I first left for school I wouldn’t need those two bags of Bic pens and that 40-pack of Ticonderogas (obviously the best pencils ever). SWAG – Stuff We All Get – was everywhere: cups, pens, buttons, ID holders, pencils, magnets – I was a ninja in the fruit aisle. Although the endless amount of shit never seems to go away like that “Dorsey Hall 2009” keychain that always turns up somewhere, I’ll never walk into Office Depot with a significant need for desktop necessities.

The bright side is you get free stuff at work too! It isn’t all so bad. Who wouldn’t want contributions from their employer to a 401(k), annual holiday parties with dry sugar cookies, and unlimited amounts of room temperature fountain water?

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