The old adage holds true: April showers (of homework, exams, and projects) bring May flowers (blooming into your success at mastering-or surviving-the school year). Some of you are marching into the workforce with your diplomas in hand, some are diving into internships or research, and some are ready to enjoy well-deserved relaxation. Just because the school year is over doesn't mean that your learning is over. I find that summer is the best time to open my mind to the world. Without the tremendous pressures of class and extracurricular responsibilities looming over my head, I have the freedom to explore the topics I wish and spend as many hours as I'd like poring over them.
Hence, I challenge you this month to explore a new subject. One personal endeavor that comes to mind is the summer I decided to expand my cooking repertoire beyond simple stir-fries and pasta dishes. I picked my public library's cookbook section clean and reserved a couple days each week for my kitchen and I to get to know each other better. My family members probably ate miso-marinated black cod, cauliflower with brown butter crumbs, buttermilk biscuits, and chocolate _clairs more than they would have liked, but I'm happy to say that you can come over for dinner if you want a taste!
It's equally important to make sure you're supporting the learning of others. The May/June timeframe marks the turnover of SWE leadership for many. Be proactive and hold a transition meeting before too much time passes so that the outgoing leader is still familiar with the position and the incoming leader can bring a fresh perspective. If you're the outgoing leader, share records of what you worked on during the year, reflect on what you thought went well and not so well, and assuage any lingering concerns about responsibilities. If you're the incoming leader, take plenty of notes and share your ideas for the future. This can only benefit your individual growth as a leader and the success of your section/region/society as a whole.
Once you've committed to a subject or entered a new role, keep your mind sharp. Be vigilant and ask probing questions. Experiment, embrace failure, and know how to pick yourself up to move on. And if you're concerned that you're a novice in Subject X, just remember that Albert Einstein said, "I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious."
Congratulations on your accomplishments, and stay curious to change the world!
FY15 Collegiate Director