Given the weather we’ve experienced here in the Boston area this semester, this respite could NOT have come at a better time!
Vacations…or “breaks” as colleges apparently like to call them…are important for us all. We all are charging ahead full-speed, doing several things at the same time and operating on adrenalin and caffeine…mostly caffeine!
My PR superstars at Curry are starting to look a little googly-eyed themselves, and I have had more than the usual number of what I refer to as “talking off the ledge” sessions persuading them that they CAN get through all this…that Professor “X” REALLY doesn’t hate them…that a particular course WILL make sense after a while…
What does this mean? STOP! Spring Break!!
Now I’m probably not the best person to be recommending this. Do as I say, not as I do! Had it not been for my wife’s insistence years ago that we start taking an extended vacation (3-4 weeks) once a year, I would still be working nonstop throughout the year.
I had always rationalized that attending business-related conferences (PRSA’s annual International Conference, for example) counted as a “vacation.” The way I figured it, I wasn’t teaching classes or advising students…even though, at the conferences, I often participate as a panelist or presenter for a breakout session or as a PRSA College of Fellows mentor for young up-and-coming professionals. That, to me, wasn’t “work.”
Margaret won, and we now chill in Taipei or elsewhere for a few weeks during which I only write my various blog posts, an occasional article for one of the English-language newspapers in Taipei, post updates on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and schedule meetings with local PR professionals and educators. Oh, yeah, and have my regular morning breakfast at The Bread, my favorite coffee/pastry shop in our neighborhood, where I can see and be seen.
But my troops need a real break. Most of them are your classic over-achievers…superstars in the classroom, involved in multiple on-campus activities, up to their ears in internships, and, often, working a part-time job to boot.
Is this good preparation for professional life?? I would argue “yes.”
- They’re mastering the multi-tasking skills that will serve them well as public relations (or virtually any career field) professionals.
- They’re developing time management skills that will enable them to keep some semblance of balance in their lives.
- And, with all this, they’re developing into responsible young adults.
But they need some “me” time. They need a chance to relax, have fun, and “be a kid.”
So I’m delighted that some of them are not responding to emails that I sent (to a group they belong to…not individually) or posting regularly on one of the social media platforms.
They’ve tuned out and logged off. They’ve put on the brakes and are on spring break!
“If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” – Herodotus, “The Histories of Herodotus,” bk. II, ch. 173