My colleagues and I are guilty of SUCKtober. October is intense. There are college lists to correct, essays to edit, rec letters to re-write, and deadlines to dread… oh and don’t forget FAFSAs to submit for funding. I found myself at a FAFSA night on October 1. The website was buggy, there were tons of students and parents milling about, and I started to feel like Sucktober was going to get the best of me. At one point, my staff member looked over and me and said something about how we were going to ROCKtober.
Perspective. He had it and I needed it.
That week, I had events every single night except one. I was determined to make the best of all of it. FAFSA nights, college visits, essay workshops, and application blitzes – the schedule was intense. When we finished the first application blitz of the year (on Friday, no less), I took my college advisor out for chips, salsa, and margaritas.
Cheers to ROCKtober. We made it through week one.
Rocktober – Week Two
This past week was less intense with evening activities, but included a midweek trip to Austin. I was at the airport by 6:00am… and I rolled up to the Austin airport at 2:10pm for a 2:29pm flight. (TSA Pre-Check saved my butt.) There were reports due, information to compile, conference calls to sit on, board meetings to attend, and professional development to rock out… along with nomination forms to write, recommendation letters to submit, and essays to edit.
We’re rocking right along.
Rocktober – Week Three
Today starts the beginning of the first college application deadlines for us. It’s going to be a run up to next week, which will frantic between events, activities, professional responsibilities, and college applications. Reframing the entire month in my mind has been instrumental for me to get through it. If you’re a college counselor (or anyone who helps students through this process), please remember what a gift it is to get to help young people get to where they are going. There’s a finite amount of time for us to advocate for students and provide the necessary context to overcome test scores or the question mark that is over their academic record merely based on their zip code.
It is a privilege to be able to provide information to or for a student. Everyone needs to stop acting like it’s a burden to help students through this process.
It’s worth a hell of a lot to the kids who need it. Higher education is still the silver bullet to social mobility in this country.
Keep on rocking on… ROCKTOBER looms.