For most students, the college experience is something they will treasure forever as the best moments of their lives, but as most things do it has its ups and downs which is why I chose the headline I did.
“Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” for those of you who don’t know is a country song by Gary Allen that I use as the theme song for my life. I’ve had my struggles and my triumphs in college as all of us do, but I always take the time to step back and look at the whole picture. Just to take everything in and realize just how good my life is, even when I’m having a bad day. I have a home, a family, friends, and now an education. There are people around the world who don’t have any of these simple things and I have them all, and in my mind that makes me one of the lucky ones.
When I was in high school I got the chance to travel to New Orleans twice after Hurricane Katrina and help with the clean-up effort. The most important life lesson I took from that experience was that no matter how bad my day is going or whatever obstacle gets thrown in my path there are always others out there that have it worse than me. With the recent tragedies in Japan and the Pacific Islands it is important not to stress about the little things and just remember that we are in the prime of our lives and we have nothing but opportunity ahead of us, and the chance to share our gifts with the world.
When you’re younger and in high school everyone tells you that you should go to college because it will give you a better chance at getting a job and supporting a family some day, but what they don’t tell you is the life experiences you have during this time and the relationships you form will forever change your life more than a diploma. Sure, I feel very fortunate to be graduating with a degree from this great university, but most of all I am thankful for all the teachers, fellow students, and all the other people who have in some way touched my life along the way. I learned statistics, economics, and every communications theory in the book, but I have also learned that your voice can’t be heard unless you speak up and not to make judgments about people because they may surprise you.
So, after all the all nighters and 10 page research papers I guess I hope I have come out the other side as not just a more educated person, but as a more caring, understanding, and compassionate person. It may not be the message your professors want you to hear but I guess my message is this: Going to class isn’t the most important part of the college experience, its opening your eyes and ears to all the diversity around you and really learning about the world from your peers. Everyone has a story and can teach you something. So, take some time out from hitting the books and talk to somebody new today, you never know they just might change your life and you could change theirs.
“No, life ain’t always beautiful, but I know I’ll be fine. Hey, life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.”