Imagine your retention situation to be like a baseball game. It’s the bottom of the ninth, your team is up 5 to 2, the other team is batting, you have two outs, and there are three runners on base. Your worst nightmare is at the plate and you’re called up from the bullpen to stop disaster from striking. It’s also your first appearance in the big leagues. Yes, you’re a rookie.
What will you do? And how do you keep your cool?
No fear, I have some words of advice for you since I know how you feel. I was once a student retention rookie, and I wish someone then had told me five things I should or shouldn’t do. That did not happen. Like many of you, I was tagged to be “the one”—to be the retention leader on campus and to come up with something that was going to make our student success rates better. I was afraid of striking out and threw too many wild pitches, too. I had so many full counts with runners on base that it was pathetic. A tear comes to my face as I dreamed about hitting a home run. But early on the pop flies were abundant and I had to punt so many times (wait, that’s another analogy!)…. You get the idea.
However, if I could go back to my rookie self and offer five pieces of advice, they would be: