As we gear up for the Christmas/New Year’s break it’s time to catch our breath and reflect on the past year. After all, for many of us the next time we step foot in the office it will be a brand new year.
The 2011 year brought about many changes in our industry, but being the resilient financial aid professionals we are, we continue to find ways to juggle everything that is required of us while still trying to look out for the best interests of our students.
The Christmas season is a time of giving; however, for many of us it’s certainly not the only time that giving occurs. In fact, I would venture to say that most financial aid officers play Santa Claus all year long. Think about it for a minute…you give the gift of education every day to thousands of students whose lives would turn out very differently if you were not there to help them along the way.
Every time you award a scholarship or a grant you are giving someone a gift, and along with that gift comes the opportunity for better things to come. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I don’t know about you, but I find it very exciting to know that we play a role helping people fulfill their dreams. I recall my own days as a Pell Grant and scholarship recipient when I went to college. Those gifts were the main reason I was able to go to school and my life would be very different today had they not been made available to me.
So, put on some Christmas music and a big smile the next time you start making grant and scholarship awards. Let out a big “ho ho ho”…go ahead, it’s pretty cathartic! You may not be dropping down a chimney in the middle of the night, but I would venture to say that your students appreciate the money you give them more than that new gadget under the tree.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.