Advisor Advice: Marie Squyres

Marie Squyres from Utah Valley University shares Advisor Advice for Fall 2022.

Marie’s Advice for Advisors on practicing balance and boundaries: First: I’m extremely fortunate to work in a department and a division backed with an administrative upline that supports actual work-life boundaries. Second: I had to act on and actually establish those boundaries. I’ve blocked off my lunch hour and make sure I take the time to disconnect from the grind every day – some days it’s eating with staff in my office, chatting with students, connecting with colleagues across campus, or just shutting my door and taking some solo time and watching a show. I’ve scheduled the last thirty minutes on my calendar as wrap up time so I can be mindful of actually leaving and being READY to leave at 5pm.

I used to respond to all kinds of emails and messages or work on projects at home during my free time because I do genuinely love my job and work to be a high achiever, but going into the pandemic I realized that if I was working at home, I couldn’t continue to work after hours or else I’d easily lose all of my time and my identity, hobbies, and social ties outside of work! I harness my office time every day by setting the agenda for what the top priorities are and if there are any essential things that have to get done. Unless someone is literally dying, anything after hours actually CAN wait until the next business day. Sometimes important things come up “after hours,” but now that I’ve put on realistic lenses to establish my work-life boundaries, I know if and when I need to or want to attend to those or not, and I no longer feel guilt working after hours because it’s not the normal anymore, it’s the exception – AND I AM BETTER FOR IT.

My default setting is no longer “burned out but loving it”. My students are better for it, too, because you better believe there was no way they ever listened to my advice to balance their lives when they could see and tell that I clearly wasn’t. I picked up my hobbies and interests again – by being more than just work! I’m actually getting to live my life as whole! Ten out of ten recommend – and it WAS a process, so take it in stages. Decide what you want, what matters to you, and your value. “Your entire life can really change in a year. You just gotta love yourself enough to know you deserve more, be brave enough to demand more, and be disciplined enough to actually work for more.” ~Charlotte Flair. More casually, a TikToker said she adopted the mindset that her job was her side hustle and her life was her main hustle, and that really hit me.

Marie’s Advice for Students: My students laugh at me when I first tell them this, but it takes one soul for us to put on any event, project, or initiative, but it doesn’t have to be all of THEIR soul – the more team members they can get involved, the better! Sharing the load makes it so they can do more themselves and by extension of having more people involved. We so often feel like it’s our sole burden or responsibility, and it takes a little more effort in the planning stages to make assignments and delegate pieces out, but it’s more than worth it when it gets down to game time. My students don’t believe me on their first event, but when we debrief, they start to get it, and they work on growing in that aspect of leadership.

Kaitlyn CarrAdvisor Advice: Marie Squyres