Thankful for Wrestling, Student Affairs & New Friends

A note of thanks for a facebook group of people who love two of the things I love most.

It’s American Thanksgiving (a.k.a Thanksgiving 2: The Southern Sequel) so I wanted to focus on something I’m thankful for that has connected me with a cool group of Americans.

When I started in Student Affairs, my main sources for learning and knowledge were the bosses and mentors I had at my own institutions. It was one of those bosses who introduced me to a facebook group that combined two of my loves – higher education & professional wrestling – called the #SAKliq (Student Affairs Kliq)

Sidebar: If you didn’t know that about me, surprise! I’m a huge wrestling nerd. Yes, the stuff that Hulk Hogan and the Rock did and John Cena does. Yes, the stuff that is “fake” (it’s predetermined, y’all). It’s great entertainment to me. I loved it as a kid and got back into it hardcore in 2013. Those guys in the header are the New Day, and they may be some of my favourite humans on earth currently.

Getting into wrestling actually led me to writing, which led me to this site. So wrestling is to blame for all my writing AND the John Cena meme. You’re welcome.

Anyways, I was soon added to this community online who had great discussions about both things I was super passionate about. It was a place to gain insight about different topics in student affairs, get advice for job interviews, and still rant about how great or bad the last wrestling show. It’s a community of nerds, but they’re my kind of nerds.

While I really started just creeping on the group, it’s become a great haven for me. I now get to interact with seasoned Student Affairs pros from across the country and gain their insights. I’m one of only a few Canadians in the group and it gives me the ability to pipe in as “that Canadian kid.” It’s a supportive, open, and genuinely fun community. When I got my latest job offer, the first three people who knew were my mom, my roommate, and this community. They celebrated with comments, likes, and treated me as one of their own, because I was and I am.

I recently went to a conference in Nebraska, and managed to meet up with a few of the folks from the group. I’d made a point of telling them I was heading to Nebraska, and being the only Canadian school there I was pretty easy to find. For a conference in a strange land (not that Nebraska is that strange) I had a built-in friend. That was the absolute coolest. If you read this, thanks Ryan!

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The UMR-ACUHO 4 Horsemen vs The Originals. Now considering if Arn Anderson (in the front) could possibly be my father…

Someone told me that a cool part of growing up is finding your people. I have a lot of great people in my life who love student affairs. I have very few who love wrestling.. sorry, all my friends who hear me rant about it. In this group though, I’ve found the cross-section of both. There aren’t many groups where you can go from talking about staff evaluation, to supportive conversations around the stresses of the job, to talking about how over-pushed Roman Reigns is. It’s a beautiful thing, and on this sequel Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for that.

The #SAKliq is forever, yo.

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