Congratulations on the Golden Bell Award! It was well deserved.
I just returned from my first semester of junior year. I am in a house with seven other people and I have to say, this is the first year that I have actually felt like a college student and that things have fallen into place. Preparing meals together with my housemates and getting off college hill made me feel like a real person, not just a student.
It is extremely easy to get caught up in the bubble that is college and it is important to remember that there is a whole world outside of midterms and finals. Pretty obvious right? But it is surprising how completely students can begin to think that grades are everything. Yes, of course grades are important, but as Mr. Ramsey said the year I attended the Brown Women in Leadership seminar, it is the contacts you make that will really make the difference.
If you are starting college, if you are just getting used to it or if you are sick of it and ready to quit, please remember how hard you worked to get there and realize that you are truly doing the best you can. Realize that while you might not have gone to a private high school and had personal tutors, you are in all probability much more prepared for the “real world’ than most of your peers because of your educational experience and you should be proud of that. I know that this sounds corny but the members of the ILC that I have had direct contact with are some of the brightest and most promising bunch of students that I have met and it is extremely disheartening to see how much of a toll college can take. Sometimes during finals you have to remind yourself that you are a human and not a machine and that you need to sleep and eat and rest. It is grueling and by the end of it, all I ever want to do is go home and sleep for a week straight. But I also think that we all enjoy that intellectual sprint for some reason.
Ultimately, we go to college because it feels good to learn and to realize how much you can accomplish in the course of a year. It is not about the grades; it is about learning topics that truly interest you that you would want to discuss outside of school. It’s about discovering yourself, your passions, your own limits and your niche in the world.
College is a miniature universe. You find your place in that setting and when you graduate, you try to find that role in the real, much more complicated world. So pick subjects that interest you. When you do, it is surprising how easily good grades will follow. The easiest way to do well in school is to actually care about and be invested in what you are learning. Finding out what you like is the biggest hurdle in college, but it will happen.