Ramping up . . . Again

It’s spring. I read the paper this morning for the first time on my 3-season porch. Which means I’m thinking about fall. Which means I’m thinking about the class of 2021. Which means I need to ramp up . . . again.

As I begin my 10th year as The Freshman Academy Coordinator, I am feeling the familiar and sense the common. I know the ropes. I can see the steps that are required for ushering this class into the building. The details feel burdensome. The opportunities more mundane.

How do I refresh myself and, by doing that, ignite those student leaders I’m called to lead in welcoming this new clutch of freshmen. If I shift into neutral and coast, what would happen? Would anyone notice? Would a researcher be able to measure the difference found in starting with a whimper? The age-old question: Does it matter?

We could save thousands of dollars but throwing it all out. No 8th grade welcome. No summer Connections. No Freshman Orientation. No leadership training for 120 upperclassmen through LINK CREW. Just show up and go to school. Freshmen can figure it out with everyone else. Oh, and go to class and learn something. We all hope it works out for you, freshmen.

There is a point where we do too much. There is a point where the investment does not provide a return. There is a point where the unintended consequences of support and attention generate weakness rather than foster growth.

I don’t think we are at that point.

As I look to ramp up my energy, my engagement, and my enthusiasm for this important transition from 8th to 9th grade, I need to think small. I need to climb back into the perspective of an 8th grader and dream again, fear again, dread again, and anticipate again.

I think that’s how it’s done. Maybe that’s how it’s always done.