I am writing this post from 30,000 feet in the air (ain’t technology grand!). In 2009 I had one of the most horrific flying experiences in my life. I can say without hyperbole that I thought I was going to die. Keep in mind that I have been flying since I was a little boy (5 or so) because my biological father works for the airlines. Needless to say I have a few miles under my belt. I was on a return trip after consulting at a university in NC coming back to KY. From one small city we left on one of those small ridiculous prop planes. We call them “crop dusters” lol. Anyway, unbeknownst to me, there was a violent wind storm raging through the south and midwest, and it tossed and turned that plane in ways you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been skittish of turbulence ever since.

On my last trip to Trinidad I was talking with a friend and colleague of mine who happens to be a pilot. I asked him how he dealt with the turbulence. He told me three things: 1) turbulence are natural, it’s just air. we are in a flying piece of metal flying through that air, you can expect the bumps to happen; 2) the chances of the catastrophe happening that we always think will happen actually happening (whew) are astronomically low. The plane is designed to fly, even if the engines failed, it would still coast and eventually land!; and 3) if the worse case does happen it was just meant to be, and as a person of faith I could understand that. He ended with “so just sit back and watch your movie.” I’ve felt better ever since.

So what’s this have to do with my blog? I’m here to say don’t be surprised by turbulence (bumps in your life or your academic journey). Expect them to happen; you are a unique person charting new territory in your life with unfamiliar people and surroundings. Remember that you will likely make up a worse case scenario that is so much worse than it will ever be. But no matter the “emergency” you are designed to succeed, it’s in your DNA! You will eventually land on your feet if you just keep on moving forward. Also remember that you made the decision to do this, so do it! You have everything you need to succeed, and if you don’t, you can create it, learn it, or get it from someone else. And finally, if the worse case that you are thinking does happen, then seek whatever gods may be to help you through it – and understand that things happen for a reason sometime, and you will survive. Trust me, life, and certainly school are a lot less scary than we make it out to be. So just sit back and watch your movie. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the view!:)



Published by Dr. Michael D. Anthony

I currently serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL. I served as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Louisville and Loyola University in Chicago, IL. In order to expand my life's work beyond my day-to-day job, I started my own consulting work in leadership and diversity in 2008. I completed my Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville, where I also earned my Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in Marketing from North Carolina State University. A native of Charlotte, NC I am passionate about leadership development, organizational change, and the ability of effective leaders to transform their communities. During my professional career I have made it my personal goal to be a strong and vocal advocate for students, faculty, and staff, and have a life-long vision to empower others to affect positive change in their community. I live in Rochester, MN.

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