Just a month ago, I was doing the “Krista”: lazing on the couch in my Rutgers snuggie, mindlessly scrolling through Twitter posts, and most likely watching Property Brothers. I thought about how much I love writing and connecting with people, and how frustrated I was that I was sitting on the sidelines of Twitter conversations happening all around me. For someone who hadn’t been engaged in Twitter much over the past three years that I’ve had an account, it all seemed intimidating. I had never participated in #sachat or watched Higher Ed Live. I tried blogging and only made it to three posts last year. I attended conferences, tweeted feverishly in a session or two, and then my posts came to a screeching halt when I fell back into my office routine.
As you probably know from reading this blog, my one word resolution is “do”. This means pushing myself to do things that cause me discomfort, things that don’t come naturally. I don’t think I’ve ever started a debate in my life. I do the awkward turtle when things get heated. I’ve read some passionate, intense, and critical conversations on Twitter, which were all great – but, to be honest, they scared me.
With a new resolution in mind, I decided that this would be the year to get off the Twitter sidelines and into the game (I love cheesy sports metaphors). I decided to be myself without being afraid of someone judging me or thinking of me as soft or not challenging enough. So here I am.
No matter what anyone tells you, using Twitter is not easy. It takes work. I received a supportive message from Chris Conzen who told me tweeting is like a marathon. We need to pace ourselves and make the intervals count. Now, I’m not a runner, but I can understand the importance of prioritizing and really identifying times to tweet active content, respond to others’ posts, and work in this blog to create content of my own. It takes practice. It requires thinking critically, which is hard when my brain can barely think beyond the next advising appointment. It means sometimes making the switch from 30 minutes of House Hunters and dedicating it to professional development time on Twitter (okay, I’m also a little HGTV obsessed).
I’ve only just begun scratching the surface of what Twitter is all about for me as a student affairs professional, but I am proud to say that I’ve jumped right in. I’m determined that when my students come back to campus, I’ll keep up with this newly activated part of me. I feel engaged, refreshed, and I honestly feel smarter after getting into the conversation.
Thanks to the support of the student affairs Twitter community, I’m doing the “Krista” in a different way: I’m finding the balance of being my authentic self while also contributing to the conversation in an engaging and informative way. And don’t worry, I’m still wearing my Rutgers snuggie.