First, before I say anything about this piece’s actual point, I have to acknowledge that my blog blew up overnight thanks to Scandal– as of the time of the writing of this post, over 3,200 people have read “What I Learned About Student Affairs From Scandal”, making it my most popular post to date and doubling my views overall! As a point of comparison, around 5,000 people go to NASPA’s national conference every year (see you in NOLA in March!)- so clearly SA Pros are Team Gladiator… Thanks so much for all of your support, appreciation and kind words- clearly the “What I Learned About Student Affairs” series is here to stay and there will be many more entries to come. For my new followers and those coming to GotDegrees for the first time- Welcome! Glad to have you along for the ride.
Now that I’ve finished my thanks and shameless plug, let’s get to today’s topic- birthdays. As you can probably tell from the Countdown calendar on the left, my birthday is tomorrow. No, don’t ask how old I’m going to be- I’m not going to say. The only hint that I’ll give you is that making it to Saturday keeps me out of a very exclusive club whose members include Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse (just look it up… it’ll make sense later). I’ve never really been deeply attached to my birthday, but this year I’m actually looking forward to it- and to spending my time doing next to nothing. Before you assume I’m even crazier than you already figured out that I was, let me explain:
This week (or next week depending upon whom you ask) is National Mental Health Wellness Week, and given some of what I’ve seen in my workplace/community and around me in general lately, I feel like it’s important to take some time to both acknowledge that and to talk a bit about what that means for me personally. Mental health has long been a personal focus of mine, and when I started GotDegrees I wanted to make it one of the major focuses of this blog, but I realized recently that I never really explained why. I’ve thought about writing this post for a while now, but decided against it initially for a few reasons: I didn’t felt like it was the right time before now, I was too busy to dedicate the time to doing it well, and (I’m almost ashamed to say) I was worried about how others would see me after I shared my story.
After witnessing a few instances of individuals struggling with their own path to mental wellness amidst concerns about being stigmatized on my campus and in the general public, I realized that the worry I felt was the exact reason why I had to do this post- as someone who is not only a supporter of causes that advocate for mental health wellness but who is also a trained mental health professional, it’s important for me to share my thoughts so others can feel like it’s OK to speak up and to reach out for help.