Are you getting involved?

As I noted a couple of blogs back, I’m a faculty freshman! I’ve been a faculty before but I am brand new to my current institution and situation. Sorta like many students out there — you’ve been students before, but maybe your institution and situation is new. The newness might be wearing off a bit — you have settled into a routine (of sorts) and the slumpy-ness might be creeping in; I am feeling it, too! One remedy for the slumps is: ENGAGEMENT and INVOLVEMENT.

Here is what happens to me: I get email invites to attend a conference, or a workshop, or a roundtable, or even a picnic! I might get invited to have a cup of coffee or lunch with a colleague. When these events come to me, I think “Oh! I’m so busy. I have a paper to write, a book or article to read, and I need to run to the supermarket for groceries. I just don’t have time!” But, after I think those thoughts, I remind myself: I’m new here; I still (S.T.I.L.L!) don’t recognize many of my co-workers faces or know their names. I NEED to get involved, get connected, make friends, and stay in the loop. YOU need to do this, too.

Getting connected is a key predictor of future student success. The way to become connected is to begin to get involved with your campus and your new institution. Your involvements do not have to be academic; they could be sport-related, club-activity related (how many clubs does your campus have?!), or organization related. It is important for your sense of belonging and attachment to your new place. It is important to stretch your mind beyond the classroom and interact with people in various environments. Campus activities of all sorts are a great place to become meet new people, make connections, and learn new things.

You do not have to join every club or organization — I do NOT say “yes” to every event or invitation. We all need to think about our priorities — school work should be one of your top priorities; but getting involved and connected needs to be up at the top, too. You will see, over time, that they can complement one another. And, you will probably have fun, too!

See you at the next workshop or foozball tournament!

PS: If you already feel you are connected and involved and still feel slumpy, go check out your campus counseling services. They are a great resource and typically included in student fees (thus you have pre-paid and they are just waiting to help.)

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