Today's Update: Monday, December 14

December 14, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, Autumn semester is finally over. Classes are complete, exams are over, the Commencement ceremony went great and winter break is officially underway. I’ll pause for spontaneous applause and cheering. 

It has been a trying, exhausting and difficult semester.  We’ve faced significant challenges, and we’ve met them all with flexibility, resilience, innovation and determination. I’d give us a grade of Scarlet and Great. 

I am so proud of our efforts. Your work made the difference in our ability to successfully have an autumn semester, but I realize it comes with a cost.  

Now I need one more thing from you. Take a break. I’m serious. We all need to step back and rejuvenate, whatever that means to you.  

There will be work that needs to be done, but I want you to take every opportunity to slow your pace as much as possible. If a project needs immediate attention, fine, but if not, put it aside.  

I’ve encouraged our leadership team to cancel all regular meetings that aren’t absolutely essential, and hope you will do the same.  

I’m going to model that behavior and not add to your inbox unnecessarily by pausing these daily updates for the weeks of Christmas and New Year's. I will, of course, send special updates if there is important information to share.  

Spring semester will be here soon, and we’ll need to be back in full gear soon enough. But for now, take time off if you have it, and ease off the accelerator. This is our opportunity to slow down before the pace picks up again next month.  

It’s not just the work we are doing that is stressful. We all have unanswerable questions about what the future will hold, and I want those answers as much as you do, in both a personal and professional context. It is perfectly normal to feel anxious and worried, but self-care demands that we not let it overtake our life and outlook.  

Take a break. Breathe. As best you can, enjoy. It’s the Scarlet and Great thing you can do for yourself, those you care about and those who care about you.   

Melissa