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Connections can last forever

Submitted by Ricky Harris on March 1, 2012 – 10:54 pmNo Comment

The number of students who simply enroll at a uni- versity, go to class, go home and then repeat the same routine for the remainder of their educational career is astounding. That is apparent with the tiny number of peo- ple who show up at campus events such as discussions, social events and athletic events.

Now before people start trying to break down the doors of the Forum office to attack me for trashing them, let me say that I understand the circumstances that many people endure. I know that many of our students are parents, work full-time jobs and/or have other responsi- bilities that don’t allow them to come to extracurricular activities.

My point here is to not to make people mad or stir bad feelings; it is, rather, to stress the importance of getting in- volved in activities outside of the classroom.

A wise man once told me that students usually learn more outside of the class- room than they do in one. This is because we can take those things we learn in the classroom and put them into practice outside of it. A lec- ture can only do so much; but being able to use what we learn in an actual real- world setting is so much more important.

I had the opportunity to attend a course in the spring semester of 2010 that took place in Washington, D.C., for a week. In that week I learned more than I had in all of my classes combined. This wasn’t because my courses were bad or any- thing, but because of the op- portunity to see profession- als doing the work of what I had learned about in those classes. I would again like to offer a huge thanks to Pro- fessor Art English for that opportunity. I will never for- get it.

And it’s not just course- work outside of the class- room that’s important. Let’s be honest: networking can make the difference in who gets a job and who’s sitting around waiting for a call. The way to network is to in- teract with people not only in a formal setting, but also an informal one. Whether it be a social mixer or a cam- pus-wide panel discussion, things like this are very im- portant. The friendships you make will not only prepare you for job searches, but those friendships will some- times be something that lasts a lifetime.

Although I am a tradition- al student, I think my expe- riences in campus life can carry over to non-traditional students as well. We all jug- gle very busy schedules, but experiencing campus life is something that everyone should do. Yes, that might mean losing a bit more sleep or having to sacrifice some- thing else, but trust me — it’s worth every minute of it.


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