I got a call from a student 2 days ago that provided both comedy, bafflement and welcome reflection, all in the same 5 minutes! It was from one of the students who IS NOT looking forward to the semester starting back up in a few days.

“Hey Dr. T. how are you?”

“Hey Rayna I’m SWELL! How are you? Ready for the semester?”

“NO. I am not. I was in the Bahamas up until yesterday and came back to THIS. WHAT IS THIS?! It was ZERO degrees when I landed and it’s going to be summer by the end of the week. We’re going to die. We’re all just going to die.”

I was laughing. I do not like the cold, so I definitely could empathize.

“But you’re looking forward to the semester starting …”

“Oh My Gosh you’re funny. How many of us do you really think are looking forward to coming back? You’re really funny Dr. T. We’re coming back, that’s it. We have to. Looking forward to it? You’re asking too much. For me? As a graduating senior, it’s a means to an end right now.

DAMN! That’s a bleak outlook. I started to daydream as Rayna continued talking … if I had the solution for all of us to truly live in the moment and not live for the next big thing, I would have addressed one of humanity’s bigger ailments. And then it came to me! That’s it!

“Rayna! you need a vision statement for spring 2018.”


“No seriously, write your vision for the spring semester.”

“Like a New Year’s Resolution?

“No, not a New Year’s Resolution that you are likely not to keep, but a vision statement. Something that speaks to your objectives this semester that will hopefully guide your actions and thoughts all the way through.”

“Here you go Dr. T.”

We both laugh.

“I’ll play along with you you. Give me an example of your vision statement and I’ll think about coming up with one.”

[LAUGHING OUT REALLY LOUD IN MY HEAD😂😂😂 – I hadn’t written one yet!!!]

Your vision statement should be short, clear and inspirational.

“So being honest with you Rayna, I haven’t written any of my Spring 2018 vision statements yet, but it will be along the lines of the following: Tosin Richard Spring 2018: To end this semester with a better sense of self-awareness and maintenance of sanity.

Rayna couldn’t help roaring with laughter through the phone, “you and this safeguarding of your sanity! I should have guessed that would be in there. But I get it. I do. Heck, mine might JUST be maintenance of sanity!”

“Hey, whatever you envision for yourself this semester, that should be it. Remember though that a good vision statement should be short, clear and also inspirational. For good measure, print it out and put it where you can see it all the time.”

“Oh, I can put it on my phone.”

“Sure if that works for you. I tried that once and it didn’t really work for me. I bought a dry erase board  recently and my vision statement is going directly at the top of it, as I see that all the time. Again, wherever works for you, but that will serve the purpose of you seeing it as a constant reminder.”

“I like this Dr. T.”

“One more thing. At the end of the semester, let’s talk about what effect the vision statement had on you.”

“Sure! I like that!”

To each and every student who is starting spring 2018 semester shortly or has already started, I wish you … you guessed it … maintenance of sanity 💙.