If I said that this semester was not the hardest one I have ever encountered in my life, I would be lying. Not because the material or grading is any more difficult than I have experienced before, but because of the fact that I am learning things that I will use to address students as a professional, and that is something that both excites and scares me.
Take the three classes I had this semester: Master's Seminar, History of American Higher Education, and Higher Education Policy. Master's Seminar focused on writing and learning about the foundations of Critical Theory as it relates to the issues and problems facing Higher Education today. History of American Higher Education forced us to think critically about the history of higher education through an intersectional lens of DisCrit, the intersection of disability and Critical Race Theory. Finally, Higher Education Policy focused on learning about the very policies and procedures that impact, have impacted, and will impact the future of post-secondary learning (looking at you HEA Reauthorization).
These three classes, all very different from each other, all managed to speak to my practitioner-based mind as well as my scholarly mind. To be honest, I never really felt like that would happen. Here it is mid-December and I am finally giving into the magic that this graduate program has. We have a lot of work to do as college administrators in the next coming decades. We better get some rest and be ready to fight because this new era of post-secondary education is coming and we are looking to take it into the hands of something greater, something better, and something that will truly and inclusively support our students.
The truth about self-care is that sticking to it absolutely sucks. No one is inherently good at self-care and I am certainly not going to say that I follow what I tell my students, peers, and sometimes even supervisors.
Self-care is conflicting with our nature to help. As people in the helping professions we are often the last people we help in our lineups. We have priorities, responsibilities, and often times we have more than conflicting archetype to fit under while struggling to manage these dichotomous and child-like notions to not help ourselves. In reality we must always help ourselves because we cannot do what we do when we can barely stand to function physically, emotionally, socially, etc! Be your own helper and help yourself. Take time during this break to just be present and have some you time. You deserve it.