Well, it’s that time of the year again when commencement speeches are made, caps are thrown in to the air, and eager (but scared) young’uns get ready to enter the “real world”. Yup, it’s time for graduation. My own baby sister is graduating from grad school tomorrow and I could not be prouder. She worked hard to earn a degree, while holding down a full-time job, and still emerged in better condition than this guy!
It’s been a while since my college and grad school days (17 and 9 years ago to be exact), but I still hold many memories of my time behind
bars the desk. Though things have definitely changed technology-wise since I was a student (for example, I used to type all my papers on one of these things!),
the purpose of college has stayed the same. You go to college to learn – and learn, you do (yes, that was my Yoda moment of the week).
I gained a wealth of information during my years in school, which I would like to share with you now. Here are 4 truths I learned about higher education:
Truth #1: You will see new things. Specifically bigger things. Such as huge lecture halls that can fill thousands of people, large cafeterias with more semi-tasty food than you would ever care to eat, and BIG, hairy feet peeking out from under the shower stalls of the coed bathroom where your girlfriend lives (such a sighting reaffirms your decision to live in an all-female dorm and to steer clear of the bathroom when you visit said friend).
Truth #2: You will learn how resilient you are. That you and your roommates can stay healthy even when the refrigerator in your apartment becomes an incubator for green, slimy stuff. That you can manage to survive taking 3 (3 hour long) finals within the span of 12 hours on 2 hours of sleep and still have enough energy to celebrate with your friends afterwards.
Truth #3: You will meet lots of people. Some of them will become your closest friends. Some of them will break your heart and leave you wondering if you will ever “love” anyone else again (but trust me, you will!). Some of them will try to lead you astray (intentionally or not). Some of them will challenge you to deepen your thinking about life, faith, and God.
Truth #4: You will remember little, but be changed much. And hopefully for the better. Because one day when you pull out that framed diploma which you had packed away in a box years ago, and as you consider the time, energy and money you invested for the sake of higher education, you likely won’t remember any lessons you learned in the classroom. But you will recall the moments when textbooks intersected with reality, when recklessness crossed roads with responsibility, and when naivety converged with knowledge. And you will be thankful for the ways higher education gave you a nudge down this road of life.
Take a listen to 10,000 Maniac’s, “These are Days,” (from just before the turn of the century!). The lyrics are a good reflection of those fun-loving college days.
What truths did you learn from your years of higher education?