A year ago, I was sent an invitation to join a new, interesting, and positive group of student affairs professionals and graduate students that focused on one passion… professional wrestling! The #SAKliq started off as a community that I quickly became connected to as I was in the weekly chats about how bad RAW was (or good on rare nights), Pay-Per View Matches, and updates from my favorites. This group not only allowed me to network with student affairs leaders from around the world, it allowed me to be as passionate about wrestling and laugh about the good, bad, and funny moments of being a professional wrestling fan. As a young boy, I loved watching WWE wrestling for RAW, Smackdown, and of course WrestleMania with my favorites battling for the title. From classic WWE stars like Stone Cold, Kurt Angle, Goldberg, and The Rock, to my new favorites like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, AJ Styles, Sasha Banks, Kevin Owens, Bayley, and many more, I was so excited to be invited to a safe, fun, and positive community of student affairs members. Thanks to the amazing founding members, I became a part of a group where I could be myself and talk about issues related to our passion for student affairs, wrestling, and of course… The Power of Positivity (New Day Reference) as Student Affairs leaders. This group has inspired me to write about some of the reasons why you should make a student affairs community today about your passions and the power it has in the field.
A second group called #SAComics sparked another passion of mine: Superheroes. Like my friends over in the #SAKliq, this community invited me to talk about all things comics with other members that shared my same interest. From classics like Captain America, Iron Man, Batman, and Thor, to newer ones like Luge Cage, NightWing, and Daredevil, Iron Fist, this community connected all members of the comic and student affairs world together.
Within both of these #SAgroups, I was able to see friendly faces from Student Affairs chats and conferences while meeting new members of the community. These communities provide me with connections and are my favorite part of Facebook. Inspired by both groups, I started to plan an idea around one of my strongest passions, video games, to create a group of student affairs leaders to share their love of gaming and moments that made them become gamers.
Last week, I created the group #SAGamers because so many of my peers, friends, and other student affairs graduate peers love video games. From the moments of saving Princess Zelda to complete world 8-8 in Mario, I remember these golden moments in video game history. As I started to reflect on these experiences, I learned that a community of gamers in the student affairs professional and graduate group were waiting to join my party of passionate gaming members. The moments in the #SAKliq and #SAComics groups helped to make a small idea into a big success of 43 members in only two days, which will keep growing into a stronger group of amazing people.
I want to encourage others to make the communities they want to see in the world to help inspire others to share their goals, passions, and aspirations. My goal is for #SAGamers to keep growing and make others feel safe, connected, and passionate about being a proud video gamer. Within all of these #SAgroups, I hope to see more student affairs leaders creating their communities with others while expanding the ideas and values of community, positive leadership, and authenticity. Even if you believe your passion is rare or your hobby is understood by only a select few, it still matters.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Kevin Kruger on Avoiding Burnout in Student Affairs