So we are currently hosting the South West Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (SWACURH) and I had some thoughts…
My first thought was annoyance as I walked up to the Student Union Building (SUB) and had to fight through a crowd of over 600 visiting students who were cheering their hearts out in support of their schools. I was stopping by my office and then sitting down waiting for someone and spent more time answering questions on where the bathroom was then reading my book (which was also interrupted by the loud cheering). It was such a headache…a pain..
It was me…
I was exactly that group when I was a student. Thinking back to my first conference, I remember walking through downtown Atlanta, GA shouting SAACURH, NCARH, and NCSU cheers at the top of my lungs. On a Saturday morning, with people visiting the World of Coke, it is not necessary to tell you we got a lot of strange looks. But I was proud, I was loud, and I was obnoxious.
It made me think about the people who stood by me and supported me through all of that, through our fight for recognition, our shouting matches, our thrills and our heartbreaks. The friends who were beside me were important, but in my new role I’m considering the advisors. These people spend their time professionally being friends, supervisors, parents, teammates, and so much more. They work in one of the most stressful jobs in the nation and let me tell you they aren’t doing it for the money.
As I prepare for my first experience attending a conference as an advisor this February for the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV), I am a bit intimidated. I know there were several times I took my advisors for granted, asked far more of them then should be possible, and saw them help me and our team do incredible things.
Ultimately, what I am saying is that conferences (particularly student conferences) happen. Enjoy them. Be excited. Do everything you can to support, cheer for, and win awards and recognition. But don’t forget to thank your advisors. They put up with the hours of you being busy in board room during no-frills (a housing conference for regions where you just sit in a room and work on legislation), the shouting in an obnoxious way in a town none of you know, and the frustration in the end over awards and recognition won and lost.
Thank you to all my advisors, those who went with me to conferences and those who supported my programs, jobs, school work, and personal development.
Take a moment and thank your advisors.