As you remember from last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Baltimore for a conference. This wasn’t just any old conference. It was the annual national conference for ACPA (American College Personnel Association).
This year’s theme was simply “Be More.” During my 4 days at the conference, I found myself thinking, “How can I be more…involved? aware? thoughtful? reflective? in my current roles of graduate assistant and intern and in my future role as a career counselor?” Since coming home and going back to work, I’ve also started to wonder, “How can I be more present in life outside of work/school?”
- Involved: joining and participating in MCPA (Minnesota College Personnel Association) when I move to MN in June; participating more on the national level of ACPA with the Standing Committee for Women and possibly also the Standing Committee for Graduate Students and New Professionals
- Aware: read about topics in and out of my function area; read, enjoy, reflect on, & share my newly purchased book “Empowering Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs” by Penny Pasque and Shelley Errington Nicholson; do a better job of keeping up with news in the higher education sector
- Thoughtful: keep up connections with people that I met at the conference; don’t accept everything at face value – ask questions when needed (as Penny wrote in my “Empowering Women” book: “Keep changing dominant paradigms!”)
- Reflective: make time to be reflective (as I’ve realized this academic year, I have some issues with having consistent reflection from week to week) – heck, it took me more than a week to sit down to write this “reflection of ACPA” blog post.
- Present in Life Outside of Work/School: self-care is the big one here. I’m doing pretty good with self-care this semester. I took the Thursday & Friday after the conference off from work and my internship. Best. Idea. Ever. I was so exhausted from all the traveling related to ACPA plus I hadn’t stayed in one place for a whole day in over 2 weeks. The little vacay was just what I needed! Now that spring is finally arriving in Wisconsin, I’m hoping to spend more time outside soon. There may even be a hike in my near future (or at least a really decent walk or two around Whitewater).
I did have a wonderful time at the conference. I hope I have the opportunity to go again in the near future…maybe next year in Louisville? Next year’s theme is “Create Possibilities” and to me, that just screams career-related programming. I may just have to try my hand at submitting a proposal to present next year. 🙂 If anything, I want to present at the state level during the next academic year, if possible. I’m also enjoying the other book I bought at the conference, “Becoming Socialized in Student Affairs Administration: A Guide for New Professionals and their Supervisors.” I started reading this on the plane ride home and am really enjoying it so far.
I think that my favorite part of the whole ACPA experience was sharing with my friend/classmate/co-worker Steph. The conference would have been so different if I had gone with someone else.
What has been your favorite experience or learning moment from a conference, workshop, or training session?