June 5, 2018
We love when the students are here but love it even more when they are gone. After a school year of programs, educational conversations, late night meetings, trainings, everything else that falls under our Student Affairs umbrella, plus balancing my own life: I’M TIRED! I was counting down the days until summer break and it finally has arrived!
For the past week, my building has been creepily quiet and it is great. Spring semester felt as if it was always full steam ahead with very few to no breaks. Now, having a break of two and a half months student-free is an amazing reward. Summer break is the time to regain all energy and be ready for the fall semester, but at the same time I am just drained with limited motivation to do things. I’m trying to break out of the “I have time to do this later” mentality that keeps replaying in my mind. I know I do have time but things come up last minute and I have some weeks I’m out of the office for vacation. My hope is that this summer I stay proactive and on top of things so that a week before the students return I am not stressed out and upset at myself for not completing tasks earlier.
To make the most out of my summer personally and professionally, I know I need to be intentional to avoid the time just passing me by without feeling productive. So far, I have been using my whiteboard in my office to write all the random things that come to my mind that I need to/would like to do. Seeing it right in front of me reminds me of something I could be doing when I think I don’t have anything to do. The list has been getting longer, so it is also great to see and watch as it becomes smaller. Most of the work items are preparing for trainings that will take place in July and August in addition to thinking of some new things to do for my building and staff. Other things I plan to do throughout the summer are read, travel, and deep summer cleaning. If you’d also like to read throughout the summer some books I recommend are:
Overall, I believe most if not all Student Affairs professionals feel tired and burnt out when the spring semester comes to an end. My advice would be to truly enjoy your summer in whatever way that means to you. Work will always be there when you return and things still will get done if you take a break for yourself. Even though we do not want to admit it, the students will be back sooner than we would like them to be, and we will be back on the downward spiral to reach the end of the year again.
Amber Hurt works as a Resident Director at Hofstra University. Amber is involved with the Multiracial Knowledge Community (MRKC) and NUFP Board within NASPA. Amber enjoys traveling, reading and working out.
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