Happy (Chilly) Friday

Happy Friday, Deac families.  It’s another chilly morning on campus – highs only around mid-50s today, and right now it feels like upper 30s.  But it is the end of the week, and your students have been working hard, and I am sure they are looking forward to the weekend.  As a reminder, think about giving your Deac that important Friday afternoon call.  Let them hear from you, and let the subtle reminder of home and family work its magic.  As we have said before, there has been a link between students talking to Mom and Dad on Friday and making less risky personal decisions later that night.

20121026fall1704I was driving off campus yesterday and happened to notice the Wake Will banners that are hanging off every light post on campus.  There are different designs, showing spaces, people, and important campus memories or activities.  The one that is closest to Byrum Welcome Center, our admissions building, had this striking picture of just a window, with fall leaves showing through them.  This banner was hanging on a light pole that was framed by real-life trees that were showing their fall colors.  It literally made me say as I drove by “Oh, that’s so pretty!”  And it was.

I like these banners.  They are almost like public art, or the way that during playoffs season the baseball stadiums bring out their red, white, and blue bunting (do we have Red Sox or Cardinals fans in the Daily Deac readerdom?).  It’s just nice to have a little extra something to pretty up this already magnificent campus.

Finally, something unrelated to Wake Forest directly, but we want to leave you with a high note.  We talk a lot at Wake Forest, both individually and institutionally, about how to help our students figure out who they are and what is important to them, so they can make wise choices later about what will be fulfilling ways to live and work – so they lead lives that matter.  We also talk a lot about Pro Humanitate – and how to give back to the world.

I have been in advising sessions with my academic advisees, and many of them come, rightly, with questions about which classes should they take, is this major or that major better?, etc.  And my response is almost always that the class or subject or major that interests you most, that you feel the most passion for – that is likely going to be where you find your most joy (and normally good grades follow if you like it and are good at it).  Sometimes the questions are about how to get involved on campus, should I join X or Y extracurricular?, etc.  And the advice is similar – if you think you will like it, try it.  If you find you like it, great – stick with it.  If not, don’t stay involved in something if you are not actively enjoying it.  Life is too short.  One ought to try to be happy as much as possible.  At least that is my philosophy: try to be good to yourself, and be good to others.  As the old saying goes: “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”

In a world that is filled with stress and pressure and the urge to achieve and perform, occasionally that anxiety and stress gets to us, and we don’t know how to release it and grab onto something more positive in its stead.  I stumbled across this blog post entitled “5 Ways to Do Good and Feel Good: Fast, Free, and From Your Desk” on how to do good in just a few easy steps – and from your desk no less.  If you are stressed or having a bad day, think about doing one or more of these five options.  If you think your student is feeling that way too, would he or she be receptive to this idea?

Would it make your day better if someone expressed gratitude to you? Even simply smiled?  Would your doing that to someone else make their day brighter?

Food for thought, Deac families.  Do with it what you will.

I will close by trying to practice what I preach.  Thank you to all of you for reading the Daily Deac.  It warms my heart incredibly to get emails from you and to hear when you enjoy what you’ve read.  Seeing “likes” on Facebook or retweets on Twitter makes me feel like the work we are doing here matters to you.  And that matters to me.

So thank you.  Truly.  I am so glad to have you all as part of my extended Wake Forest family.

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