Relieving Stress During Reading Season

By William Diskin posted 02-06-2018 20:32

For most of us in the independent school enrollment world, these months – February and March – are two of the busiest months on the calendar. Re-enrollment is underway, files of new applicants are being completed and read, the phones are ringing with parent and prospective parent questions, and the stress of trying to reach enrollment targets for next fall is front and center.

So, how do we manage? How do we stay healthy during these long days (and nights!)? How do we maintain our focus – but still take some time to regroup and recharge?

Certainly – if you ask 10 different admission office folks, you are likely to get 10 different answers! That’s good! We can all benefit from hearing from each other about how we take care of ourselves during these hectic months.

For me, reading is always a source of escape and rejuvenation. This year, I’ve noticed something about my reading habit. While I typically read lots of non-fiction, I’ve been drawn more to fiction this winter. Reflecting on that, I realize that it has to do with getting away – immersing myself in the lives of the characters and fictional families found in novels and short stories.

Here’s a list of books I’ve read recently:

The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur
Masticate and Swallow (stories) by Fabio Hurtado
The Girl of the Lake (stories) by Bill Roorbach

Yes, I’m still poking around in a couple non-fiction titles (Daniel Pink’s newest book When? and Ray Dalio’s guide to life and work Principles are currently on my pile) but I notice that at the end of the day -- when I really want to wind down and get away – fiction is my first choice.

So – there’s one suggestion for how to relax a bit during our busy season! What do YOU do to relax and regroup? And, a related question – how does your admission office team relieve stress during these crazy weeks? Feel free to share your ideas and strategies for staying sane in the February and March!

Now – back to work…


Bill Diskin
Director of Admission and Financial Aid
Cannon School
Concord, NC