One last word of advice before
I graduate -- the best education happens outside your
By Sarah Reale
Decmeber 12, 2006 | "I like what you do, when you do,
what you do, you make me want to shoop," Chelsea sings
as she does a hip thrusting movement in her chair as
she attempts to finish her paper. "Wait ,this isn't
just apple juice concentrate, this is Chinese apple
juice concentrate," she says in the middle of the Salt
n Peppa song as she holds up the beverage we purchased
at the cute grocery store down the street because we
were tired of doing homework. College life is the best.
It's three hours later, and both of my roommates are
sitting in the TV room, laptops in hand, surfing the
Web and watching The Bachelor. "I just found
the cutest coat on SteepandCheap.com ," I say.
"Really, what is it? Have you seen (insert boys name
here)'s Myspace comment from (insert girls name here)?"
We are talking in a series of random close-ended comments.
"Pause The Bachelor, you guys have to hear this
song," Emily says.
We all nod and I pause the TV. Whoever said college
was just to your classes, they had it all wrong. College
is more than sitting in class and learning about the
correct way to pitch a public relations campaign to
a client; it is about the experience. The scary truth
is I have learned more outside of the classroom in the
last four years than sitting at my desk.
When I stood in front of Richter7 public relations
hot shots it wasn't a professor that had taught me to
dress professionally, it was my sorority. It wasn't
a class I took that told me how to use Adobe InDesign
and create the mock up of a brochure (although I could
have taken one), it was my job as student coordinator
on the A-Team. And it wasn't a professor that taught
me how to lead my group to a successful campaign, it
was the numerous leadership opportunities I took advantage
of in college.
The reality is, there are things you just can't learn
in the classroom. No matter the professor's degree,
the years experience, and the devotion, they can't teach
you everything. It is up to the student to leave with
a college degree and the skills to survive.
Professors are more like a supporting wall that help
you through college. They can push you to think out
of the box (writing this paper for example), and they
can give you the basic knowledge of your degree, which
is key to making it but you can't survive on just the
supporting wall. You need experience.
Every year I tell the new students, "Get involved.
I don't care if it is joining the chemistry club, joining
a sorority, or writing for the school newspaper. Do
something while you are here because the opportunities
It's the truth. There are over 200 clubs and organizations
at USU, and if there isn't one here for you, start your
own. There is no excuse not to get involved. Once you
get involved, opportunities will start flying at your
face faster than your kung fu skills can react. I traveled
to Texas for the Chi Omega National Convention, did
media relations for a NASA rocket launch, led 30 new
students at Bear Lake for a week, was president of the
Ugly Dancing Club, hosted the Mr. and Ms. International
pageant, was the "megaphone" girl at True Aggie Nights,
and much more.
I'm not trying to brag. I am just trying to prove
to you that there is plenty to get involved in, and
with each experience I grew and learned that much more.
Even though I am scared to death to leave Utah State,
I feel prepared. I know I complain almost every day
about the computers in the JCOM department, how ASUSU
is a monopoly, and how they closed the Carousel Square,
but I love everything about this fine institution.
As I filled out my graduation papers a couple of weeks
ago and I took the survey about how I felt my experience
was at Utah State, I couldn't help but give the best
marks for all the offices on campus. There were times
when I wanted to kill the Registration office because
they made me walk up one flight of stairs to
get something signed, but they really try their best
to make sure the students get the help they need.
To each negative note I can find a good one. I have
gotten my fair share of parking tickets, but there is
no college campus in America you can get a parking pass
for $18 a year. They might be raising tuition, but at
least it is the lowest raise out of all the schools
in the state, and it is still cheaper than my in-state
tuition in Colorado.
There is nowhere else you can find an excuse to kiss
someone on a cement block, do the actions of milking
a cow with thousands of other students, go skiing and
to class in one day, and walk across acres of green
space on campus.
College life is the best, but it is the bestest at
Utah State. Yes, the bestest.