Not Goodbye, Just ‘See You Next Year’

It is hard to believe that it is already the final day of convention. This week has been filled with opportunities to learn new information, to grow personally and professionally, and to connect with friends old and new. Yes, the Girl Scout in me wants to break out into song. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.”

One of the reasons I come to the conference is for the opportunity to connect with others in the profession — this year did not disappoint. I enjoyed the chance to catch up with other early career professionals during a number of events. The Committee on Early Career Professionals hosted a social hour on Friday night and a coffee hour Saturday morning. ECP coffee hourI also attended an ECP social hour that was a collaboration of Divs. 17, 35 and 51.  All of these events provided fun opportunities to chat with other ECPs and share stories about getting licensed, starting new jobs, applying for tenure, and striving to find some work/life balance.

I was happy to see so many events for ECPs. When I first graduated, I had never heard of the term “early career professional.” Thanks to Katharine Hahn Oh’s hard work restarting the Div. 17 ECP committee, I soon learned what it meant. I had the honor of serving on the committee for four years and helped to bring more awareness to this career stage during convention. Seeing the great attendance at all of these events makes me confident that there will continue to be supports for ECPs for years to come.

I was especially delighted to connect with one my mentees who recently graduated. It was wonderful to spend time with her at her first convention as “Dr.” I am so proud and happy to welcome her as a colleague. I got some much needed Vitamin F from my dear friends at the Div. 35 award ceremony and was inspired,as always, by the authentic interactions I had during Div. 51’s social hour.

So, it is somewhat bittersweet to part ways on Saturday night and Sunday morning. Sometimes a few days just doesn’t seem long enough to say everything we want to say. I reassured friends that we would stay in touch over Facebook and keep each other posted about important life updates. I try to avoid thinking too much about how long a year can be.

So as I get ready to begin the re-immersion process into my day-to-day life, I don’t say goodbye. Just, see you next year in Denver.

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