Three weeks from today, Welcome Week will be over, and I’ll be sound asleep (guaranteed!). While this sounds lovely, what is also means is that in less than two weeks, Welcome Week begins. Anyone else feeling slightly terrified?
In all honesty, at the moment, I’m feeling pretty good. There’s a few major detail that I’d feel much more comfortable if they were worked out, and about a million tiny things on my list (Parking passes? Playlist? Phone numbers?), but nothing overly worrisome. I’m actually pretty excited.
But over the past few weeks, there have been moments (hours, days…) where I haven’t felt so good. Where I’ve felt completely overwhelmed, and very unsure this was all going to come together. And in these moments, when I’ve turned to other people, I’ve received some very helpful responses. But I’ve also received some very unhelpful responses.
This one is my favourite: “It will all get done.”
Let me break it to you gently: No, actually, it won’t. That fantastic idea we had for our off-campus lounge? There simply isn’t time to implement it, and the lounge will be just fine without it. Those detailed event outlines I’ve been writing up? Some of them may be lacking in detail. That extra event we were considering throwing in? That’s out the window. There are some things that are simply not going to get done. It may not be ideal, but it will be okay. But they won’t be done.
It is true that they’re partly right- everything that absolutely needs to be done will indeed be done. But at what cost? There’s only one of me- only one of me to do it all. So will it get done during the work day? In the evenings? Late at night? On the weekends? Last minute? Those are the questions that terrify me right now.
Guys, as much as things terrify me right now, I’m really incredibly excited at the same time. If I’ve learned one thing during my orientation experiences, it’s that all the work is always worth it, eight hundred fold. And this Welcome Week has so much potential- potential to impact students, to create a different culture, to shape students’ next four (five, six…) years at Saint Mary’s, and to shape the future of orientation at Saint Mary’s.
For the next few weeks, all I ask is this- when I reach out to you, think about how you respond. Think deeply. “It will all get done” is not reassuring when I know that means “no sleep tonight!” “You’ll be fine” isn’t reassuring when I feel anything but fine. “Just a few more days” doesn’t help at all when I still have to find a way through those days. Be helpful, not harmful.
See you on the other side, folks!