In Student Affairs, August is an intense, exhausting, and sometimes thankless time of year. September is the time of year when the ball gets rolling, we get into the groove, and things start to operate like a well oiled machine. This September, rather than get caught up in the well oiled machine and run into the year, I want to take a step back, pause, and say thank you to a handful of truly remarkable women, my #sheros. This month, I will write a series of posts about Student Affairs Sheros. Naturally, I’m calling the collection of these posts, the September Shero Series. I will feature one woman each week of September, starting with Melissa Robertson.
Melissa and I met via social media by working on the Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community social media team together. When I asked if anyone wanted to present at NASPA 2013 together, she volunteered. I would come to learn that this was completely natural for Melissa. She dives in and commits. After months of Skyping, Melissa and I met for the first time days before we were to present together in Orlando.
Before we met in Orlando we determined, again through social media, that we were both working towards 30 goals before we turned 30. Our now friend Lisa, would also be a part of this. This is relevant because Mel has shared and taught me so much this year. We’ve both read Lean In and Daring Greatly. As empowering and inspirational as these reads were, nothing beats seeing someone you admire be their unequivocal and authentic self. This is why Melissa is a shero.
When talking about our 30 before 30 goals, in a moment of raw honesty, she inspired me to reach one of my goals…by not reaching another and being flexible with myself. She simply said she wasn’t going to reach one of her goals and needed to be honest with herself about where she was with her progress. This simple comment gave me the courage to be brave and own that I likely wasn’t going to meet all of my goals either. I would have pushed myself into the ground trying, but her moment of honesty allowed me to be honest and vulnerable with myself. Melissa is honest, brave, vulnerable, funny, generous, and kind. I’m lucky to call her friend. She is a regular inspiration. She is a shero.