There should come a point in your education when it’s no longer just about getting passing grades grades or obtaining your degree. If that were everyone’s motive, there would be no experts on anything in the world. They would have learned what their professors had to teach and never thought to open their minds to anything else. But they did. And because of that, there have been remarkable discoveries.
Now, not everyone can be the next Albert Einstein, but because most of you reading this attend a university, the opportunity for education is nearly endless.
Once you’ve established your major, you’re thrust into that area of study full throttle with little time to think twice. This is a gift. Learn it all. Absorb everything that you possibly can at this point, because it’s not likely that you’ll ever be surrounded by this much knowledge pertaining to what you love again.
People often complain about the range of courses unrelated to a major that is required by a liberal arts college. This is actually an opportunity for a more expansive education. It allows for interests outside of your major to be fed and nurtured. Seize this opportunity. Choose elective classes that ignite curiosity within you, not just classes that will get you an A for your transcript.
Outside of the classroom there is even more learning to be done. A beautiful part of this university is the plethora of ways to gain knowledge in addition to the education you are directly paying for. Guest speakers provide a new voice on a topic you may or may not have heard lectured before and service-learning opportunities abound. Don’t just wait for the offer of extra credit or chapel credit to attend. You shouldn’t have to be baited in order to want to learn more. A pure thirst for knowledge should be enough to push you into finding new ways to obtain it.
Information is out there. There are enough classes and speeches available to keep people here for years. In the end, it shouldn’t boil down to you learning only what is required. Take the extra step or go the extra mile, and you might find out that learning isn’t always as hard as we make it out to be.
Jean Donaldson is a sophomore biology major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column reflects the views of the writer only.