By Glenne Fucci, Regular ContributorOctober 30, 2015
image via salon.com
This past week I had the opportunity to go back and visit my undergraduate university. It was my first time back on a weekday, and I had some serious nostalgia. I was instantly struck by how much I missed the convenience of having my friends within a two-mile radius (as opposed to around the globe), the unbelievably cheap price of college eats, and the ability to walk around campus and feel right at home surrounded by my fellow Wolverines. As a now three year resident of the Big Apple, I can truthfully say that traversing the island to see my friends, spending $10 on a miniature sandwich, and walking around trying to figure out where I fit in in this city of 8 million greatly contributed to my nostalgia for those college days.
However, the thing I realized I missed most about being part of a college campus was the academics.
It sounds ridiculous, but I genuinely miss walking into those big lecture halls with world-renowned professors and having information and ideas and theories pushed into my brain. I miss the discussions among classmates and graduate students about obscure topics that I had never previously given much thought to. College is about about learning how to learn and explore and think and contribute to the world around us.
As we grow older, life starts moving faster and we are always looking ahead. We forget to live in the moment and take in what’s around us. We’re programmed to crunch numbers or stare at computer screens, and we forget how to learn; we forget we can learn and we must keep learning so that we continue to grow. Life gets busy and newspapers get pushed to the wayside. We no longer have the daily opportunity to engage with fancy professors or teachers and learn about the world at large.
We have to find the motivation within ourselves to go out and keep learning, to keep engaging, to keep discovering.
College is about a lot of things -- it’s about making forever friends, developing interests, having the most fun a human being can have, and finding yourself. It’s also about learning to become a lifelong learner. Whether you’re in college or plan on attending in the future, I implore you to resist the temptation to snooze your alarm and sleep through that 9AM class. I ask that you pause the social media perusing and engage with what your professor is discussing.
It may not always feel like it in that 500 person Econ lecture, but you are the luckiest person in the world -- you’re only job in that moment is to soak up all the information like a sponge.
One day you’ll have to worry about a career and a family and how to navigate your mid-twenties, but for now you get to be wholly a student. It’s important to continue to view yourself as a “student” and a “learner” for the rest of your life, but one day it will no longer be the primary word used to describe yourself. You’ll be a doctor or lawyer or writer or motivational speaker, instead. But until that day, relish every moment you have to sit in a classroom and learn -- it may be hard to recognize, but we are learning to grow, develop, and think critically about the world around us. We are gaining the tools to impact our communities and be the change we want to see in the world. Because of this we are truly the lucky ones...
Are you student? Do you appreciate the opportunity to learn? How do you continue to learn outside of school? Tell us below!
Glenne is a third year law student hailing from NYC, University of Michigan ‘13 grad and Beyonce enthusiast. Currently residing in Korea, her interests include duathlons/triathlons, traveling near and far, documentary films, consuming sugary cereal, watching mid-2000s teen dramas and singing her heart out at Betty Who concerts. You can watch her attempt to navigate Asia and beyond on Instagram @glennefucci.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.