By Kelsey Webster
The end is in sight for me. I have spent four years of my life pursuing my undergraduate degree, and 12 years prior working towards graduating from high school.
Sixteen years of my life have mostly taken place inside a classroom, and I don’t remember much about the scant few years that took place before grade school started. I also had to cope with the necessity of a 2 to 6 more years of schooling in order to get a decent job in the career field of my choice.
The harsh reality of the world we live in is that you can work your ass off and it just might be enough. We all know this going into college, and strictly speaking, we have the choice to not go. After all, college isn’t for everyone.
Even with knowing all of this, most people would say it’s worth it. The classes prepare us and provide us with knowledge that will help us succeed in the future. While striving for a bachelor’s degree, we learn to problem solve and argue, as well as how to be responsible and work with others. Depending on your degree, you learn advanced math or science, or learn how to write a critical essay. These are all great things and they could come in handy depending on what field we go into.
As I get ready to walk across the stage to receive my $40,000 piece of paper, I’m reminded of one thing I learned during university—how to obey.
The dozens of classes I took varied in subject and level, but the common note is the professor who ultimately determines my fate. He or she can pass or fail me with a swish of the pen or a few clicks on a keyboard.
There are tricks to getting better grades in classes of course. Make sure to introduce yourself to the professor early in the semester, no matter the size of the class, because if you are on the fence between two grades then they are more likely to push you up if they know who you are.
Sitting at the front of your classes is helpful, because they see your beautiful, smiling face every day. It also helps to nod appreciatively at lectures, even if you aren’t that interested because professors feel like they are getting something through to you. Ask questions and talk when there is the opportunity.
All of these things will help you, along with knowing the information for the class, but sometimes it doesn’t have the desired outcome.
The professor’s opinion might be different than yours and this can affect your grades. This is how I learned to obey whatever they told me. When their way of doing something is different than mine, I learned to quickly abandon my way.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned more during my time at university. This is just the lesson that will stick with me, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Throughout life I will have to work under different types of people, and the skill of obeying will definitely come in handy. It might not seem fair, but I’m going to have to bite my lip and do what I’m told, even if I don’t agree.
I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to attend a university, and despite my debt, I’m thankful for the prospects my degree will get me. But I think the most insightful thing I have learned how to do is keep my eyes open to reality. Life might not be just, but if you understand the injustice you can succeed.
-Kelsey Webster is an English senior