Resiliency in Student Affairs

Any individual who has dedicated more than a couple of years to a career in Student Affairs understands the power of resiliency. I was reminded of this during a discussion with some amazing students this week at the California State Maritime Academy. Just this semester new student organizations that support women and black students became official at this  predominately white male institution.

Not only is resiliency with our students but also with us as professionals. I am learning this quickly because of the catch all phrase of “Other duties as Assigned”.

In student affairs, evening and weekend duty are par for the course. Emergency calls and student crises in the middle of the night are routine. I have colleagues that have had their position eliminated during financial challenges and once endured seven different supervisors over a five-year span. Some of us have mourned the loss of students. And of course, we have juggled work commitments while spending time away from family.

Dr. John Grohol writes about 5 Steps to Building Resiliency. He provides great tips for growing your own reservoir of resilience.

  1. Resiliency Means Accepting that All Things are Temporary
  2. Self-Aware People are Resilient People
  3. (Some) Adversity Helps You
  4. Our Social Relationships Bolster Us
  5. Goal Setting and Understanding Your Problems is Important

Student affairs professionals must be resilient to grow, advance and succeed in this field. This same resilience allows us to serve our students when they may be struggling. As you examine your strengths in preparation for an evaluation or interview, be certain to include the resiliency traits that you bring to the table.

Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them. ~H. Jackson Brown

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