Student Affairs is often times a thank-less field. You all know the drill- we work late nights, weekends, holidays, summers, and pretty much round the clock 24-7! We are around students all day, everyday, and other than the staff in our department, we barley interact with other adults our age (at least not without students around.)
Let’s face it- Student Affairs professionals work hard! And how often are we thanked for what we do? Now don’t get me wrong, if you are in this field for the same reasons I am, then you do this work because you love it and because it fulfills you. You find your purpose in this work.
But isn’t it nice to hear those encouraging words every now and then? I get it though. There are some professionals in my life that guided me and believed in me time and time again… and I don’t think I went back and thanked them until I had that “found myself moment” and realized how their help really impacted me. That happens, ya know?! We realize later that these important people in our lives deserve a huge “Thank You.”
So why not start thanking those that make an impact in our lives? Today. Right now.
In mid-April 17, some students that I work with organized a week of events. The theme for the week was #InspiredByWomen. Monday through Wednesday they hosted passive events, which consisted of them going department-to-department and interacting with the faculty/staff/students around campus. They left little notes along the lines of being appreciative and inspired by people. On one of the days (my favorite), students could pick up a shirt and an invitation to a reception that they could give to a woman on campus that has inspired them. At the end of the week, these students organized a beautiful reception for faculty and staff to attend. This small reception was designed to show and express thanks and appreciation to those that work hard day in and day out at Western New Mexico University.
Little did we know that this week of events would have chain reaction. I noticed that people around campus began to be more expressive. They began taking those few extra seconds to tell each other “thank you.” And just like that, professionals were rejuvenated.
It doesn’t take a lot to let people know they are important. So I encourage you to take the time to say those kind words to those that mean a lot to you. One person at a time let them know their value to you, your campus, and to the students. A few words can make all the difference.
Remember, your “thank you” may be all someone needs today and may be the first one they have heard in a while.
Dedicated to the amazing people that inspire me and deserve so much more than a “Thank You”- Dr. Mary Howard-Hamilton, Dr. Kandace Hinton, Dr. Amy French, Heather Campbell, Dr. Katrina D’Aquin, Mickey Ulrich, Dr. Patrick Sutherland, and Dr. Richard Walker.