I have the unique experience of sharing the same alma mater as my parents. I grew up hearing stories about how things were when they were at school, the friends they made, and the professors who helped shaped their worldviews. When it was my turn to attend college, I remember my parents making a lot of comments about how different my experience was going to be from theirs. And as a recent graduate, I agree.
The ‘culture’ of college campuses has changed greatly since my parents were in school. Recent events at Mizzou, Yale University, and Occidental College have garnered national attention. Moreover, the way that college administrators have reacted to those events have shown how they are contributing to the creation of, in my opinion, the most coddled generation.
I think one of the most important aspects of growing into adulthood is learning how to handle one’s self professionally.
During my undergraduate years, I had multiple classmates with difficulties discussing issues or grievances with professors, faculty, and other students. Rather than confronting the issue in an adult way, they would often take to social media to complain, would involve a department head when it was unnecessary…or would have their parents take care of it.
I think that there are some very extreme situations in academics when it’s important to rely on others for help.
But when the issues at hand can be resolved in a short, face-to-face conversation, it’s important to rely on one’s self. My advice to incoming freshmen is simple: be your own advocate.
Nothing is going to boost confidence more than learning how to stand up for one’s self. Life lessons like this one can transcend the majority of material in a classroom and can help in the workplace, too.
College is a time of growth. Do you want to take an active role in that growth or do you want to take a backseat and let someone else drive?