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10/20/2019 » 10/22/2019
2019 Annual Conference - East Lansing, Michigan

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Taking Your Why Into the New Year

Posted By Lauren Drogo M.A., Resident Director, University of Indianapolis , Monday, July 22, 2019

Last month, Nicole introduced us to a TED Talk by Simon Sinek that discussed how we discover the “why” behind what we do. I often find myself asking whether or not what I do everyday has purpose and meaning, or if I’m only doing it because “it’s what has always been done”. These past few months without students in the hall, back-to-back meetings on my calendar, or the vast amount of emails to respond to has afforded me the opportunity to reflect on “why” I’m in this sacred work. 



Nicole shared that she wanted to see students grow. Other colleagues of mine say that they want to make a difference in the trajectory of higher education. For me, I believe that my “why” transforms into something new and more intricate the longer I’m in this role -- but isn’t that how life works? The more time we spend with someone, the more we understand them and even pick up a few of their own characteristics. The longer we do something, such as working with college students, the more we begin to see and appreciate the work of sitting with students, developing leaders, and cultivating long-lasting communities. 



For us here at the University of Indianapolis, we’ve provided a number of pre-orientation days for incoming students and their families to begin to familiarize themselves with the coming community they will soon find themselves in. At each morning session, the students sit down with our university president and he shares a quote from Mark Twain that states, “The two most important days in your life are the day that you are born and the day that you discover why”. We all accomplished that first day, but not everyone has made it to that second important day in their life. Finding your “why” is this world is monumental. When we discover why we were meant to be here, on this earth, in this degree, or even at this job, we can then make a real difference in how we go about this life of ours. 



Knowing my “why” has helped me to continually see why I love this work we do - it provides me with the energy and motivation to step into the next year ahead with fresh ideas, new aspirations, and continued resilience because I know that what we do has meaning. I challenge everyone reading this to think back to “why” you started this work in the first place. Why do you continue to work in housing/residence life? Why does a role that stretches us so thin sometimes make us feel all the while so whole? Whatever your “why” is, I hope that you can see it in this coming year ahead. Not only for yourself, but for your students, colleagues, peers, and anyone around you who needs to see it for themselves. 


Looking at why we do what we do each day helps us bridge the gap between ourselves and our work -- it connects us deeper and pushes us further ahead. When we take our “why” with us into our work, we inspire others to do the same. 

Tags:  #wellness #SAPro #SAGrad #GLACUHO #H_W 

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