There were so many great insights, hopes and perspectives shared on last week’s #SAChat on “The Future of Student Affairs”, that I found myself intently glued to my computer screen reading through as much of the conversation as I could and ended up tweeting only a few thoughts and pieces during the hour. But as I sat taking in all the great conversations going on and even paying attention to my own sparse tweets, I happened to look up at a sign that’s posted on my bulletin board.
It has one word: WHY?
Back in grad school, my awesome Cohort Lifeline, Adriana Facundo, sent me a link to Simon Sinek’s TedX presentation on The Golden Circle for a project we were working on. I fell in love with it and ever since then have used that concept in a lot of my work, hence the sign in my office.
So, after catching a glimpse of that sign last Thursday, I began asking myself why?
Why am I looking forward to the Future of Student Affairs? Why am I excited to be a part of the Future of Student Affairs?
And as I asked these questions, I began to contemplate:
Is it because I’ll be a leader (hopefully) in the field one day?
Is it the pay that I could get?
Is it because I feel I something to offer to the field?
Is it a gateway into teaching and research for me?
Is it because it’ll potentially help me get into a doctoral program?
Is it because I want to give back to an institution?
Is it because I believe that I can make a difference in a student’s life?
Is it because I find worth in Student Affairs work, be it personally or professionally?
As I contemplated, depending on my “why” questions, it would result in a different reason for looking to the future.
It also gave me some perspective on why people are in the field and why we have some leaders and some Leaders. Understanding a colleague’s “why” for being in the field and why they look forward to the future of our field will help understand how they work.
It might answer why one person adores theory, and another keeps it at arm’s length. It might help me understand why a colleague is only in the office from 8 AM – 5 PM and never goes beyond that. It might explain short term versus long term planning practices.
No one person’s “why” is wrong, if it’s their truth. It comes from their perspective, past and present. And as we talk about the future, we cannot dismiss any plans or ideas. Because it’s the future. No one’s conjectures for the future are wrong because who knows what it holds? Until this week, Marty Mcfly was the only one who could really tell us about the future. And now that he’s come and gone, no one knows what the future holds.
So as we look to the future, use your “whys” for looking to the future of our field, to help guide and support your actions in the present. And understand your “whys” before heading Back to the Future.
Peace, Love and Pandas!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Kevin Kruger on Avoiding Burnout in Student Affairs