Seinfeld is one of the greatest shows in the history of television (debate me if you’d like) for a number of reasons and has had a subtle impact on American culture that I believe is often overlooked. Before Seinfeld, I do not recall people saying, “yada, yada, yada” or “re-gifting” being a thing.
I’ll be honest, it took me awhile to come aboard the Seinfeld train because for me, it was a show about a group of white friends and the minutiae of their day, and that sounded boring to a younger version of me. However, I’ve gained such an immense appreciation for the show and the wittiness that it encompasses. It’s usually in my Hulu queue when I go home. After binge watching every single episode since last year, I’ve find myself bringing up lines from the show in staff meetings or even in my 1:1s with my supervisor. Now, you’re probably wondering, what in the blue lagoon does this have to do with Student Affairs? A show about nothing and supporting students throughout their academic careers? Well, actually, there are many similarities that I believe speak to OUR very existence as student affairs educators.
I’ve found myself numerous times trying to explain what I do as a Resident Director to those who don’t ascribe to the idea of challenge and support and I’m usually left with, “oh so you babysit students?” OR my favorite, “you went to get your masters in programming?” Many times, we forget that the little things that we do as student affairs professionals actually matter so much more and have a greater impact than we know, similar to Seinfeld. There are those that will never understand what it means to assist a student navigating their Black identity development, similar to how people will never know the beauty of the line, “No soup for you!” We all work at institutions where many do not understand exactly what we do from 9am-5pm, but it matters especially now. Those students that we serve are stepping foot on our campuses with a plethora of opportunities that can hinder their persistence to graduation and we have to remember that we matter! Remembering a student’s name and their story is impactful way more than we know; supporting a student through a major family crisis isn’t something that everyone could do. Like Seinfeld, people aren’t going to give the credit where it’s due when it comes to those working in our field. However, I’m willing to wager that at the end of your career, you’ll look back and see that you’ve touched the lives of all of the students you’ve crossed paths with…just like the long line of 4000+ Seinfeld fans (including me) that waited to actually walk the set of the series in Los Angeles a few months ago!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Stacy Oliver-Sikorski on Professional Development