If it were up to you,
what would you do?
The fall semester
is fast approaching, so what are you going to do about it? Since
you are reading this it is probable that you are at least considering
attending Memorial University. But before you finally decide
how it's going to be, you really should stand back and take a
moment to reflect on your own personal goals.
It's your life,
and this may be one of the last opportunities you've got to make
a free choice about the future. Because this is such an important
decision to make, why not take some advice from someone who has
been around for a while (maybe a bit too long).
do not go to university because it is expected of you. Let's
face it, the people who care about you are the ones most likely
to try and persuade you to do what they think is best for you.
But what others think about you and what you think about yourself
are often very different things. Our parents, for instance, grew
up in a time when almost any university degree was a ticket to
success. It may be that when they tell you to go to university
that what they really want is just for you to be happy. The time
was when success and a university degree went hand in hand. But
that time is no more.
Today, we must
be more sensible about our future plans. When you make the choice
to attend university, you must understand what you are doing
and why. There are more university graduates working at fast
food restaurants than you could care to shake a stick at. University
programs offer diverse opportunities to learn, but unless you
maintain a focus, you will end up wasting money, and more importantly,
losing time, and you can never get that back.
me to my next point. Those of you who intend to attend university
because it will make you the big bucks, stay home, forget about
it. Not only is this an oversimplification, but it is also an
ignorant appraisal of the university experience. If you measure
your gain here in terms of dollars and cents then you are only
ripping yourself off. The university is not about greed. It is
about sharing and communication.
University courses do not give you a special knowledge that will
make you powerful. There are no such magic books. Strange as
it may seem, if you really want to take something away from your
time at MUN, you have to give. Give your effort and most importantly
give your heart.
If you do not
care about what you read, if you look at education only as a
tool to make you rich, famous or whatever, then you are abusing
the opportunity to learn. You will graduate just as dumb as you
So you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. You want to
attend university for your own personal benefit and yet you do
not want to be selfish about the experience, and close your mind
to the opportunity to learn. Luckily this is not a new problem.
Anyone who has ever attended university has had to eventually
deal with this issue. Basically you are trying to reach a balance
between what it is that you want to do and what you believe to
be a useful thing for you to do. This is not the same thing.
What you want, your desires, depends entirely upon your personal
life experience. No one can tell you what it is you want to do.
No one has access to your desires except you.
On the contrary,
if you have any idea about what you want out of life, there are
thousands of people professors, advisors, other students
etc. around to guide you and teach you to turn your interest
into a useful contribution. Try to remember the university is
a community, not a competition. Almost everyone is willing to
help, but you are the one who must do the work.
a discipline. Even a bachelor's degree will usually take at least
four years to complete. It may not seem like much coming out
of high school, but university is no breeze. It may seem that
way for the first couple of semesters, but that is only because
you are fooling yourself. You may get A's in all your courses,
but learning is not about getting the best grades. It is about
actually doing something with the knowledge you acquire. The
university is a place which allows you to challenge yourself,
to question yourself and your prejudices. But nothing will come
of your time here if you do not honestly commit yourself to the
work.This may be the single most important piece of advice that
I can give.
me say that there are many opportunities in the world available
to you. University is only one of them. Do not feel pressured
into doing what you do not want to do. But when you make a choice,
commit yourself to it. This is the most sure way to achieve success.
Now it's up
to you, so what are you going to do?