Over the past two weeks, I have said the same thing, or a slight variation of the same thing, 70 times. Each time with the same smile, with the same upbeat tone, and with the same passion and compassion for the student, and their family if they are present. I know this isn’t physically grueling, but this time period for those working in orientation and/or academic advising can be very mentally and emotionally exhausting.
I believe am a person that can be very energetic in a group setting (social butterfly-ish) but my social batteries get recharged from being alone with myself or my family, so every end of May through June I am essentially capped out by lunchtime and still have a half a day to go (not worrying about the week, I just got to get through the day first).
This isn’t a pity party, however, this is just me putting something out into the universe that I often think about during this timeframe (and thought about frequently while working in Housing/Res Life). This isn’t a unique phenomenon nor do I think I am the only person in Education (whether early childhood, K-12, or higher) that experiences this… but still doesn’t change the fact that I feel like I drain myself to the point of almost needing to physically disappear for a month to make sure incoming students are greeted by a face and tone that says “welcome to the University”. Love, hugs, and support to everyone else working during this stressful time in higher education, and same wishes to those of you in other education fields recovering from this past year and trying to come to terms with the snap back to “normal” in august.
Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.
Chris Cagle currently serves on the ArkAAN Executive Board as our NACADA Liaison. This position has split responsibilities between the Arkansas Academic Advising Network and NACADA.
Chris works at the University of Arkansas where he serves as an Academic Counselor in the College of Engineering.