What Has MASFAP Done For Me Lately? By Matthew Kearney

As you prepare to hit the road to travel to the MASFAP conference, you might ask yourself, “Why am I going?” Or in my case, I have the cutest 4-year-old little boy asking, “Daddy, why are you going to a conference?” Having gone to a number of these things over the last several years, I’ve begun to actually think about my answer.

I used to say I was going for work. That was sufficient for a 2-year-old…but a 4-year-old, that’s not going to cut it. Because inevitably, I’ll get the follow-up questions, “What do you do at a conference?”, “If it’s for work, why do you have to go somewhere?”, “Who goes to your conference?”, “Do they have a pool or a playground?”, and lately, when I say Nick Prewett will be there, I get the question, “Will my friends Maddi and Collin be there?” (we visited Columbia a few weeks ago and they are now, in his mind, his BFF’s).

While the incessant questions can wear me down at times, it has provided me the opportunity to think a little more in depth as to why MASFAP is important to me. I have developed friendships, allies, colleagues, mentors, and a host of other nouns with people who get me and what I do between 8 and 5 Monday through Friday (we all work completely regular hours, right?). My wife is a brilliant and accomplished person, who will listen to me talk until the cows come home about my day, or until that adorable 4-year-old needs to interject to tell us something of “great importance”. But I don’t pretend to think she finds it interesting or that she completely understands the in’s and out’s of our world. That’s why these conferences and these networks are so important.

I’ve been on text strings with Nick, Angela, and Justin about a work topic at 7:00 in the evening that will go on for hours (often resulting in an emoji war that I just can’t keep up with). I know that I can send an email out to what I have often referred to as my “Circle of Trust” and know I can ask anything, and I’m bound to get back three or four responses, sometimes varying, but always helpful. I can pick up the phone and ask for help, advice, or a differing view point and not feel like I’m putting anyone out. And in return, I can be on the receiving end of those calls, texts, or emails, and try to give my take on situations. At this point in my career, I am more of a taker from MASFAP, but my hope as I move along in my career and become more seasoned, I’ll be able to give more than I receive. That’s why I go to these conferences and why I try to do whatever I can to stay involved in MASFAP. I need it and we need it, but MASFAP also needs us. So I encourage all of you, if you aren’t already, please volunteer, attend events, and engage with the rest of the membership. You won’t regret it.

Happy Financial Aid Day to YOU!

Today, October 18 (3rd Wednesday in October) is a special day set aside to celebrate and recognize the contributions of all financial aid professionals for helping students make their college-going dreams a reality! What is your office doing today to celebrate??? Please comment below…and HAPPY Financial Aid Day to you – YOU make a difference!

MASFAP High School Counselor Workshops – REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

The registration link is now live for the MASFAP High School Counselor Workshops at: https://goo.gl/forms/XjfFfXbfrAuQJwJC3

MASFAP Members – please help spread the word to high school counselor contacts that registration is open!

Workshop Dates/Times:
September 11: Missouri Southern State University/10am-1pm
September 19: Avila University/10am-1pm
September 19: Missouri University of Science and Technology/10am-1pm
September 21: Missouri State University/10am-1pm
September 22: Webster University/8am-1pm (this MASFAP workshop is offered in partnership with St. Louis Graduates)
October 3: Columbia College/10am-1pm
October 4: Truman State University/10am-1pm
October 13: Missouri Western State University/9am-1pm

Lunch will be provided at each location.

If you have any questions, please contact Kayla Klein at KleinKW@missouri.edu or Melissa Findley at melissa.findley@moslf.org.

Tomorrow is Not Guaranteed By Laura Steinbeck

As I wondered about what to share with you, I thought about my recent personal experiences and information we all need to remember and can relate to. Not necessarily work related, but more importantly about life.

During the past few months, I’ve come to realize that life is too short. I came to this realization after losing five friends in the past two months that had so much more life to live. They had plans but were not able to see them through.

Too many times we put off things we want to do because of other obligations – work, children, aging parents, volunteer obligations, etc. – and we do this because we think we can do it another time. What we want to do isn’t always a priority right now, or we think it is something we can do in later in life like once we’ve retired.

It is important to have a healthy work/life balance and to accomplish this you cannot live and breathe work. Those verification files, loan certification requests, gainful employment reports, student employment placements, or whatever is on your plate right now, will be there tomorrow, and you will complete them. We spend the majority of our lives at work, and we all have a job to do, but sometimes our “job” outside of work should take precedence. Our jobs are what we do, not all we should do.
When you have an opportunity to spend time with your spouse, children or grandchildren, go to a concert of a performer you’ve always wanted see in person, play golf at an exclusive golf course, visit with long lost friends you haven’t seen in years, or even dine at that new restaurant you’ve heard so much about, DO IT!

Learn to enjoy life to its fullest potential and embrace every moment you are given. Work will always be there…. loved ones, new adventures and experiences may not be around when you “have the time.”

My advice: Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today; tomorrow is not guaranteed!

Laura is the Chair of MASFAP’s Associate Member Concerns Chair and Associate Delegate