By Kourtney Husnick
With the end of every semester, students face different forms of transitions. Some are graduating, some are moving out on their own, some are becoming leaders for student organizations and the list goes on.
This year, the Department of Student Life offered a Transitions Conference to assist students in their transition process. Led by Chava Witt, the assistant director of student activities and involvement, the conference was the last of three conferences hosted by the department.
“The whole idea with the Transitions Conference and having it towards the end of the second semester was really like, ‘Okay, the entire student body is getting ready to do something different from what they have been doing, so what are some of the main themes and how can we help, hopefully, prepare them for that?’” Witt said. “So, that’s where the idea came from, really to help our set our students up for success with whatever they’re doing next.”
The conference offered sessions focusing on transitioning leadership in student organizations, interacting with new cultures, moving away from home or off campus and life after undergrad with professionals from the university coming from Student Life, the Center for International Services and Programs, Residence Life and Career Services.
The conference, which occurred Friday, March 28, lasted from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and included dinner from Cleveland State’s catering while keynote speaker, Noah Nickel, talked about pace during transition and the speed in which people live.
Nickel was originally a speaker for a session called “Finding Your Pace in Transition,” but student interest in the session inspired Witt to make him the keynote speaker instead so that everyone at the conference could experience the session.
“When you’re transitioning, these are some things to pay attention to,” Witt explained. “Like your bandwidth, you’re not going to be able to do everything that you’ve always done before. So learning how to kind of pay attention to that and know that you’re going to encounter that, that’s okay, and these are some things that you can do that will help you feel better, that will help you pace yourself in that transition.”
This is the first Transitions Conference the department has hosted, and registration was free for students to attend the event on Mather Mansion’s first floor. The event was originally announced to occur in Fenn Tower’s ballroom, but relocated based on the number of students attending, 39, and the cost.
“Even with 30 to 40 people coming, we relocated and then, adjusting the catering order, we’re still on completely on track to keep it at the same general amount per student that we would for any other conference,” Witt explained. “So it’s not like we’re wasting money. This is still going to be a professional, useful experience for every student who comes, and it’s still going to be something that I can easily account for and go home and sleep well.”