Most of us come to university thinking it’s for a certain major and degree which will then get us a certain career and we will live out this American idealized life. These are the steps society said we need to take and what we thought would make us successful.
What a lot of us learn as we go through university, or what I hope you all start to think about now, is this four-year journey is more about the experience: the people we meet, the opportunities that come our way, the mistakes we make, the lessons learned, the adventures we take and the perspective we gain. The experience is what truly matters, not the degree and whether you got an A versus a B in one class.
What matters is how we decide to take the opportunities given and create something extraordinary with them, what we do to go out of our way to help people in the community, help a friend, or inspire those around us, how we pivot, change, grow and explore who we are as people and the endless possibilities that are out there. Whether we choose to make the most out of this experience, that is what matters and is worth more than any degree title or grade.
Without experience, outside of reading a book or answering questions on an exam, how are you truly contributing to society and your community right now? How are you growing as a person to become the best version of yourself if all you know is what’s written on the page in front of you?
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I may procrastinate my work and rush to finish it within the last couple of hours before the time it’s due, but it’s because I’m out there experiencing it. And that’s what we’re supposed to do!
What I have gained from taking the opportunity to grow my own business, from pushing myself to work out of my comfort zone, to speak to different people, is what gives this college experience value. It gives me more meaning, purpose and direction in my life. It allows me to see options for my next path that I never thought were possible!
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When we take chances out of the dorm and don’t just follow the step-by-step procedure of learning and studying for exams, we gain more knowledge from the world and those experiences than we could simply by reading a textbook.
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I’m not saying education isn’t important but I believe what we learn and how we learn it should inspire us to go out there and take action in some way or spark interest in a new area of discovery. The more involved you are and the more experiences you take part in, the more you realize those moments in life are the ones that add so much more joy, perspective and value to your four-year college degree.