Shana Warkentine Meyer, Regional Director
August 27, 2018
Welcome Week is here. Residence Life move in, a Pep Rally, Classroom Hunts, Volunteering, Taco Night, Grill & Chill, “What Would You Do,” and Education Sessions have already occurred, three days in—and that’s just for freshmen. Non-traditional student orientation and international orientation rounded out the week—and next week, classes begin, and Western Warm-Up activities will happen for all students. I am thrilled (and maybe slightly overwhelmed) to shift back into the full hustle & bustle of the fall semester.
In the midst of it all, I had the opportunity to present an educational session to our incoming class of freshmen. The topic was one I do not believe I have seen in a welcome week before: “Introverts Unite!” The session was about how introverts want to make friends know they should be involved and connected, BUT…. it is hard to put ourselves out there. I was thrilled to present the session to over 250 students who chose to attend the session.
So much of what we typically provide during Orientation is high energy, with loud music pumping, and information overload. As we create opportunities for students, are we considering their batteries? As we feed them full of resources and hotdogs, are we providing time for processing and rejuvenation? Have we intentionally provided space for processing and reflection? Have we scheduled purposeful breaks throughout the day to allow batteries to refill?
In many ways, what we are providing for students is similar to what we do to ourselves. In our higher education and Student Affairs roles, we often play the part of cheerleader, announcer, organizer, emcee, and fount of knowledge. We are in the midst of it all—emotion, high drama, and energy. We break the ice and build teams, giving to others. Whether introverts or extroverts, this time of year can be both energizing, and exhausting. As you give to others, have you intentionally provided space for your own processing and reflection? Have you scheduled purposeful breaks throughout the day to allow your own batteries to refill?
In October, we will have our very own sessions to attend at the fall regional conference. There will be high energy, icebreakers, and cheering. But there will also be quieter spaces, time for deeper dives, and connections with colleagues. I always appreciate how the IV-W conference seems to be exactly what I need when I need it, and how I leave the conference feeling reenergized and filled with a renewed sense of purpose. I hope you will join us in Wichita to see the conference committee’s incredible work, where you can learn from phenomenal keynote speakers, celebrate our colleagues’ accomplishments, and invest in yourself.
If you cannot attend & are feeling some FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), the Region sponsors many other professional development opportunities for our members. Join us for our second Critical Conversation from the comfort of your own office; learn from your colleagues by reading their monthly blog posts; volunteer to assist a Knowledge Community; follow us on social media (find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!). We want to be what you need in a professional development opportunity—and from your professional family.
Let us know how we are doing! What can your Regional Advisory Board do for you? I would love to hear from you.
Until next time,
NASPA IV-W Regional Director
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