To be heard. To be seen. To be connected to the world and people around us. Sounds simple… right? Whether you are finding your voice in the traditional context of singing or writing, or trying to find your voice as a member of the human race, the process is long and full of stumbling blocks. Take a moment and think about the transition you are making in life right now. Are you starting a new job? Starting college for the first-time or even preparing for Graduation? These periods of transition trigger questions of acceptance and belonging.
For years students at both the high school and post-secondary level have been subjected to preverbal phrases like “Pay attention! In the real world you are going to need to know this.” While these types of phrases may have provided some motivation to those of years past, it no longer resonates with learners who are universally connected and results driven. They have observed from parents and peers that “in times of change, learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” (Hoffer E. cited in MacGilchrist, Mortimore, Savage, & Deresford, 1995)
As Orientation teams work tirelessly to kick-off summer orientation programs and as others prepare for mass orientations in the fall the dreaded calls have already started. “I really don’t think I’m going to be able to make it to orientation… is there some package I can pick-up?” “My child is at the cottage for the weekend, it is the last weekend before school starts. Can’t they just pick-up some sort of handout?” These questions are unfortunately actual examples of calls and questions received in my office every year at this time.