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Nov. 22, 2022

Being Grateful.

Week 13! Not only are we on week 13 of the semester, but this is a super short holiday week at that! You are so close to the end of your journey and doing awesome!

Whew. You are making it. The daily routine is demanding. There are classes, papers, labs, exams, work and family obligations, and the rest of life’s challenges. Here we are on this amazing journey of self-betterment, yet, it can feel like a lot to carry. It is easy to focus on the weight we are carrying. Our burdens start to feel heavy, and they begin to chafe. Yet, each of us is supported by somebody. It might be your parents, grandparents, or kids. Or maybe it is your guardian, spouse, friend, church community, professor, advisor, or partner you hope to have one day. We all draw strength from others and likely, someone is helping us carry our burdens. Someone is helping to cheer us on and helping us keep the finish line in sight. Take a moment to reflect on who helps you get through each day, and who helps you carry all that you do. Take a moment to really think about what they are carrying and how they help you. Sometimes they are directly helping; other times, it is just because they exist that they lend a hand.

To help us build resilience, it can be helpful to reflect on who carries us. When we contemplate and become aware of the burdens of others, our own burdens seem lighter. Maybe they are directly helping, or maybe you feel stronger just by their presence. That is such a gift. It is something to be grateful for. In feeling this gratitude, we can find strength and the generosity to help others. In turn, we ease our burdens, which gives us the capacity to carry even more and help those around us to carry their burdens. Through gratitude, we can energize a powerful positive engine of resiliency. This engine can help us overcome amazing challenges – together. By seeing and appreciating all that others are carrying, we can ride and contribute to our shared momentum simultaneously. It can be amazing when it comes together, but we can’t do it while focused on just our own burdens.

In the coming days, take time to enjoy the companionship of others. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope yours is wonderful. If not, I hope you have an amazing Fall Break. Take some time to reset, recharge, and find gratitude.

Four things:

  1. Register for spring classes. Get registered before the December break! If you are a degree-seeking student, you were eligible to register for classes a week ago. General Registration for non-degree-seeking students opens Monday, Nov. 28. Make sure to make an appointment with your advisor and get registered ASAP. Here’s how to find your advisor if you don’t know who that is. Soon, final exams will start to occupy all of your attention and focus and it will feel good to get your plan for next semester nailed down and off your list. This is one responsibility you can unburden yourself from now.

  2. Download the Nanook Navigator Mobile App. It is super helpful and growing more useful every day. You can schedule appointments with most advisors through the app!

  3. Finals. They are coming. Set aside some time over the coming weekend to put together your plan for finals. Last week, I suggested putting together a plan. Now is a good time to do that. Investing some time thinking about finals this weekend will help reduce your stress and the weekend will be more enjoyable, and less stressful in the coming weeks. Putting it off doesn’t make the stress go away. Don’t procrastinate!

  4. Last, listen to and care for yourself and others. The holidays are here and they often bring their own stresses and challenges. Just be aware of that and work to avoid stressing yourself out. Enjoy the long weekend. Enjoy the peace. Get outside. Enjoy fresh air wherever you are. If you are someplace warm and sunny – get some warmth and sun for the rest of us. Wherever you are, get some sleep and some vital mental rest. Work with others to create joy.

The end of the semester is nearly here. Hang in there. Take care of yourself. You’ve got this! 

As ever – please send me your comments and suggestions. I am at obguthrie@alaska.edu

— Owen Guthrie, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management


UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.