What I Learned This Year

Lessons of 2014.

December 18, 2014
What I learned this year.

This is my 45th post of the year and it's also the last one for 2014. After more than 100 days "on the road" and almost 100,000 miles in the air, I'm ready to take a break from blogging and unplug until the new year. Okay, maybe I'm not going to stop tweeting or reading content via RSS. I'm always learning. However, since this is the last post on this blog for 2014, I've put together a list of 10 things that I learned/thought/wrote about this year:

  • Higher education may or may not be a business. We don't like to talk about the enterprise of education as being a business. It is, but it isn't.
  • People like/dislike Starbucks...I love their free wifi. Pret a Manger probably deserves an honorable mention for providing robust wifi and amazing customer service in their stores.
  • Yik Yak can be a source for goodwill. Whether or not you agree with what they did, Colgate University professors took over their 1.5 mile yak radius and seemed to have a positive impact. Time will tell...
  • There are a lot of places to work in student affairs. I'm still waiting to interview some student affairs administrators from non-traditional spaces. There are a lot of cool gigs out there right now.
  • LinkedIn is still the next big thing. I took a lot of heat for this post. But, if you have been paying attention, LinkedIn has made some major moves to continue being one of the most influential social media sites...in the world.
  • Building community via social media can be done using community-created content. I already knew that this was part of the benefits of social media, but this post was a great reminder of how social media flattens hierarchies and provides ample space for sharing, engaging, and connecting.
  • Twitter bios can be captivating. Yes, there are a lot of Australian accounts in this list. In other news, we are all on the same rotating sphere...let's learn from each other.
  • Everyone is interested in student affairs "big" data. I could probably write a blog post from each of the comments on this post. Vendors and community members shared a plethora of thoughtful responses on this post. Our data buckets may eventually become better connected.
  • The fax machine is a controversial device. It's 2014 and I bet a lot of people at your school sent a fax at least once during the year.
  • It's best to seek out student affairs graduate programs that include assistantships and tuition waivers. Paying full price for a masters degree that doesn't include a professional job experience may work for some folks. However, I strongly advise that those who are looking to go into a student affairs masters program seek out programs that will leave them with little to no debt. And, if you're on the student affairs subreddit and asking about whether or not you should go into a student affairs grad program, the answer is: maybe.

I hope you had a wonderful 2014! I'll be back on the blog in 2015.


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