What does August mean to us? By Charles Mayfield

How does one go about preparing and organizing thoughts on what the month of August means for our industry? I feel like I ask myself that question in some way, shape or form in late spring or early summer each year. A self-reminder that we’re not in this alone for some reason comforts me. Knowing there are so many others making the same grinding trudge through late summer and early fall can be somewhat reassuring… in an odd kind of way.

As always, this year brings a few new twists and turns that we must account for and adjust to on the fly. We’ve come to see these changes as normal, and I forget how quickly we adapt to the many changes and then, just as quickly, move on to whatever’s next. In the last 8 or so months, a couple of big items seemed to be bubbling up such as the doubling of verification selections and the first full year of 150% Pell. By now, those items might be in the rearview for you and now we’re on to addressing other items. Our ability as an industry to learn, unlearn, and relearn can be uncannily amazing. These experiences this year are but a few examples… and there are so many we can think of from past years, and we can only guess to what is ahead for us! Kudos to each of you who see this as your “normal”, for all you do and how you do it!!

Our office had the “opportunity” to experience and plan for a nearly five-month delay in the finalizing of tuition rates for the 2018-19 academic year; rates were finalized in late June, rather than the typical timeframe of mid-March. This means we have done our best to cram several months of activity and work into a slim window of just a few weeks. With the bulk of that work just recently completed, this generated the bit of time I needed to share these thoughts with those friends and fellow colleagues out there.

While I haven’t been much of a blogger in my life to-date, I did find the thought of putting August-related thoughts into words a weirdly refreshing kind of idea. So often this time of the year, I seem to struggle finding time, or making time, for self-care or using a lunch break as intended… a time to disconnect, recharge, eliminate “brain-fog” to spring board into the second half of the day with an energized and creative mindset.

I appreciate the opportunity and platform our MASFAP Blog has provided me (us) to share these kinds of thoughts. Through the course of my writing today, I’ve decided (maybe for this year) I’ll switch up my approach to the internal August-readiness litmus test. Rather than my typical “am I ready for August” approach, I’ll ask “August, are you ready for me/us/our industry?!?” I might just steamroll right into August, whether it’s ready or not.

Thanks for taking the time to peruse the randomness of my thoughts in this moment.

Charles (Buddy) Mayfield is a MASFAP Delegate and a friend, a colleague, a guy who sometime asks you lots of work-related questions

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