So my column yesterday seemed to have stirred up some mixed reactions among readers. I was expecting that and I do enjoy when people critique my stuff because that makes me a better writer and thinker than a simple "I agree" or "you're stupid." That being said, I am not happy with how the piece turned out. I'm not one to make excuses, but I had written an entirely different piece and scrapped it about an hour before my deadline and wrote a new one. I meant what I said, but I don't think I said it in the right way. Honestly, it was probably irresponsible of me to rush a column like that, but what's done is done.
Looking back I should have saved it for another time so I could have spent more time working with the idea and specific wordings. When I first wrote it I really liked it, but after submitting it I began having some regrets because I knew what type of criticism was going to come and it wasn't the point I wanted to make.
I want to be clear: I do not hate college. I love my education, I love the education that UNH has provided me with and I am forever thankful for the things I have learned here. I am not taking this experience for granted. For example, next semester is my final one and I could take any four classes I want to graduate, I just need the credit. I'm not doing that though, I'm taking two high level courses within my major and only one other that is considered an easy A. I'm doing that because I am truly interested in my major and I want to learn as much as I can while I'm here. I'll be looking at my grad school options over winter break because I want to learn more.
The idea I had about much of college being "bullshit" was more about the way people, including myself at times, treat it. I was using my past choices as an example. I've made some poor choices, but I've also maintained a 3.4 GPA. Nothing really to brag about, but it could be a lot worse. One commenter said it right: "you get out what you put in." At times I've done that, I pushed myself really hard and I know I've written great papers. One of the proudest moments was my sophomore year when a professor approached me outside of class to tell me how much she enjoyed my paper. I am very proud of my colloquium I am currently writing. But at other times, I've done the minimum to get by, BS my way through low level courses to get the A- or B+. I'm sure most of you have done the same. Not all, but most.
The main point I wanted to make was that college is more than just the facts. It's learning how to apply them, learning how to think. I ended the column with "Use your mind – it can be a beautiful thing if you know how." That was my way of saying "you get out what you put it." Use your mind to go beyond the facts, see the bigger picture, analyze the situation and make connections. To me, that is the most important thing I've learned at UNH. It probably is major specific, but I think most people can say college has taught them to think differently. I'm sorry for the confusion and I hope this made things more clear.
As always, thanks for your comments, I get something out of all of them.
Stay classy, not UMassy.