Friday, January 11, 2008

And it begins

Monday begins the most dreaded week in the eyes of all higher education staff--the first week of classes. For students, it's all excitement. New classes, new books, no tests. For us, it's a blur of panicked students who either

A)Failed all their classes last semester and need a new game plan
B)Just now noticed that a new semester is starting and need to get in some classes
C)Had an epiphany over the holidays and have decided that they don't, in fact, want to be a nurse/teacher/engineer--they want to be a banker!

Now, we are here to serve students, so these things aren't inherently stressful. The problem is that the students in these categories come in during the first week of class and are SHOCKED that they have to wait a few minutes to see an advisor, INDIGNANT that bad past performance may affect their ability to take classes now, and FURIOUS that just because they need a class and don't want to go to school on Fridays or before 10AM, we can't accomodate them. It's eye opening, that's for sure. Some respond with anger, others with extreme emotion. It's very common during the first week of classes for an advisor to come to my office and say "I have a crier," then wait a few minutes to let the student collect themselves before returning to finish the meeting.

And yet, a small part of me looks forward to next week because I know that in addition to all the spoiled sourpusses, there's a good chance I'll meet a mom thrilled at the chance to finally be going to college, or an exchange student with stars in his eyes from his first days in America, or a student that has done poorly but is determined to improve and is grateful for the help. This is why I went into higher education! Well, this and the high pay.



Anonymous said...

First of all, I LOVE it when I happen to go into your Blog and find your entry with the "ink" still wet! This one was only about 20 minutes old! (It doesn't take much to entertain me)

Now I'm sure there are lots of others who also appreciate what you and your staff do - as I do. Don't ever feel unappreciated!

Aunt Joyce

g brown said...

MAKE THEM ALL CRY! Have fun this week and don't overload on overrides!