Now that the NASPA 2015 conference buzz has died down, and we are all back on our respective campuses doing the great work that we do every day. There’s usually not much time to reflect on the experience that was NASPA. As #SAPros, we have so many things pulling us in varying directions, whether it’s the students we serve, partners we love, or organizations that we are a part of, we tend to take these experiences for granted. And I admit, I’ve fallen victim to that pattern at times, however, this experience would be different.
Not only was it my very first NASPA conference, it was the first conference where I crossed off an activity off of my professional bucket-list! I was given the opportunity to present on a topic that I was passionate about alongside my brother in arms. A bucket list is defined as “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime” and over the last few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on my bucket list that I created while in undergrad that continues to grow to this day. As I continued to move in life, I continued to add to my personal bucket-list as well as develop a professional bucket list with all the items I want to achieve before I retire from my career.
In the last three weeks, I accomplished items off of my professional and personal bucket list. Attending Wrestlemania 31, presenting at NASPA, having lunch with one of my favorite mentors, and enjoying New Orleans with my #SA family. It’s important that we keep a list of items that we want to achieve -goals that we had at the beginning our our careers and even when we were younger. Wrestlemania has been on my list since 7 years old and I was finally able to achieve it right after NASPA and I was overwhelmed with joy as I saw my favorite wrestler, The Rock, come out to the ring. Those are moments I will never forget, just like I’ll never forget presenting at NASPA.
As #SAPros we tend to forget what’s important to us because we have so many competing interests, but I challenge you all to create a bucket-list to help us stay focused on what’s important to us. It doesn’t have to be for your whole entire life, you can break it up however you like: seasons, semesters, quarterly, yearly! You decide what’s the right “fit” for you.
Here are a few items from my professional bucket-list:
Present at a national conference (completed)
Have at least two mentors in the field (completed)
Be a mentor for others.
Have lunch with the VPSA at my university.
Fail a few times; learning occurs here
Here are a few items from my personal bucket-list:
Learn to swim.
Attend Wrestlemania (completed)
Attend Mardi Gras.
To help you along, I found this website called Bucklist.org, that I will definitely continue to use as it has all types of bucket list items to keep you engaged! And that’s the bottom line!