I had my first big-kid conference this week and I learned a lot. I also lost my keycard on the first day. Great first impression.
It was nice to be in a place surrounded by other people who understand your work and your day-to-day. Student affairs can be a very confusing thing to understand if you’ve never lived in or worked in residence, so I appreciated meeting new folks who got it.
Once my “oh boy, I don’t belong here” jitters subsided, it became a lot easier to go up and chat with some new colleagues. When I did, I ended up trying to ask them one question: “What’s your thing?”
Most people looked at me with confusion. What did I mean by a thing? Like their favourite thing? And I would just ask again. The responses I got were varied.
People said shopping was their thing. Some said student affairs in general. One said income equality was their passion. While it took some a little time to think of, everyone seemed to have a driving passion that fuelled them beyond just doing their job.
Do you remember that super cheesy, always playing commercial from our childhood? The one with the Amazing Aiden, and the bug kid? This one:
It’s literally called “What’s Your Thing?” and I found asking and talking about a passion made conversations with new people a lot easier. Everyone can talk for ages about their passion. It helped me make connections.
In the land of adulthood, it’s been difficult at times to not be good at everything. I want to be more organized, have more knowledge in all kinds of areas. Some of that knowledge will come with time, but it’s important to realize that just like this old commercial says: “Nobody’s good at everything, but everybody’s good at something.” Just keep working on your passion, expand your skills when you can, and keep working on whatever your thing may be.
Things can change, too. What you’re passionate about now doesn’t need to be the same as high school or the same as when you’re 60. You and your passions will grow and change, but it’s always important to try and find what drives you.
And since you asked, my thing is jokes.