Well, the academic year is winding down, with many in the field of higher education either taking a breath after commencement exercises, or inhaling to steel themselves of the chaos to prepare for them. And after a long day at the office, I know my saving grace has been some mindless entertainment in the form of my favorite TV shows. But interestingly enough, the traditional TV season is winding down as well. The two have their similarities, I noticed the other day. Just think about it: our favorite TV shows are signing off just as our students are.
Consider our first year students, signing off after a tumultuous, at times confusing and awkward introduction to the college environment. Like FOX’s The Mindy Project (left), its adjustment was slow and clunky at first; at times we weren’t sure they were going to make it the whole year! But gradually these “fresh men” (and “fresh women”!) came into their own and showed us their hearts as well as their ability to be fun and effective. We say goodbye to them with high hopes for the coming year and what they’ll show us they can do when they return in the fall. My wish is that they return with the same spark of wonder that they came in with last fall, but with more wisdom and direction for what they want their experience to be.
We can also look to the opposite end of the spectrum, to our graduating seniors, and what their experience has looked like. Some of them are going out at the top of their game, while others may have stumbled as they reached the finish line. But as they prepare to close the book on their college careers, we are invited to participate in their retrospectives and help them through their “last” moments- last class, last exam, last organization meeting, and many more like activities. Just as the actors from run-ending shows like The Office (right) and 30 Rock, we hope they’ll take the lessons they’ve learned on our campuses along with them to wherever they head next (Movie careers? Writing books? Who knows what awaits them?).
Yet a major source of excitement in the summer will be our first exposure to the new blood that will be entering our lives, the incoming class of 2017. Full of promise and largely unknown to many of us, we are optimistic about what they’ll bring to our community…much like I am about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (left)
We can look to those students who fall in between, those who we are excited to see and help continue their journeys this fall (like the outstanding, and still getting better, Parks and Recreation), and those who we may be a little surprised or a little frustrated to see when they walk through our doors in August or September (Two and a Half Men? Grey’s Anatomy? For real though?). I will miss the mainstays of my weekday, and will eagerly await the return of some and mourn the sad departure of others. By the same token, I will look forward to the change of pace and the new blood that a summer schedule brings. Maybe the lightening of the grind will allow for a little reading? After Mad Men‘s season is done, of course 😉