- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 21 September 2016
- Written by COURTNEY BUELL | CLUB AND GREEK EDITOR
College is often a stepping stone towards having a successful life. Some might even say that without a college education it’s difficult to be successful.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of doing well in school. It’s simple to take the easiest classes, to find the best professors, and to just ‘get by’. However, what if the success of college wasn’t in the piece of paper one receives at the end, but the experiences obtained in the four years it took to get it.
Assistant Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Rebecca Sanford, believes, “There is a difference between getting an education, and getting a degree.” This is an interesting concept because usually the two words are synonymous. It seems that the lessons today that are truly valuable to students, are the ones not learned in the classroom. Sanford also believes that a students’ willingness to accept failure and criticism may benefit them more than an easy ‘A’.
Junior Psychology major Nicole Gallagher said, “Students, including myself, are tempted to take the easy classes because we know we will do well and get to move on. Nobody wants to take a tough class.” Students may feel that it is hard to learn and do well under the pressure of failing. It is difficult to enjoy a subject when cramming for tests is held above actually learning the information. However, if you fail a class, then you will have to retake it, which causes you to spend even more money in efforts to obtain your degree and delay graduation.
When investing such a large amount of money into an education, it’s difficult to gamble on something that is not a guaranteed bet. However, some students believe that being open to such things can make one a better person.
Alyssa Cosentino, a junior Psychology major, said, “Failure in general is really difficult to cope with. It makes you question yourself, but it makes you push even harder to excel and be your best.”
Learning the harder lessons ultimately prepare one for the ‘real world.’ Keeping an open mind, accepting criticism, and treating failure as an option to try again is ultimately what makes a good professional. A 4.0 looks great on a resume, but a willingness to do better, and an understanding that things aren’t always going to be easy, and a lot of experience, is what makes someone truly a success.
Make Monmouth University your safe place to fail. Enroll in that challenging elective or take the “tough” professor. If you succeed in these courses earning that ‘A’ will be even more satisfying because you know that you worked hard for it. My mother has always taught me that anything good in life does not come easily. Continue to challenge yourself to do better and be better. In the end, you will discover your strengths when they are put to the test. Do not take shortcuts or the so-called easy road in life because you truly learn and grow as a person when you step out of your comfort zone.
On graduation day when you walk across that stage to shake hands with President Brown and receive your diploma, ensure that piece of paper is more than just a piece of paper. However, view it as an artifact of the knowledge and skills that you acquired during your time here at Monmouth University. In the end, you might not have the highest grade point average, but you will be able to work through your failures and uncover your strengths. In life, you must not fear failure because it is when you are outside of your comfort zone that you grow in knowledge.
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