Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How to use your college experience 

While I'm not the book's biggest fan, Freakonomics co-author Steven Dubner sounds like a good academic advisor, as one of John Whitehead's students reports:
He began to go into his experience that took over at Appalachian State University as his years as a student. Basically, he never knew he would be a common friend to the men�s soccer team, he never knew he would make any foreign friends, he never knew he would join a band, he never knew he would sign to Arista Records, he never knew he would live in New York and write great books. He did all these things by staying open. Being open to all experiences and being okay with coming across new things, and to not be limited.
I think my biggest frustration with SCSU students is their limited worldview and unwillingness to take a chance. I don't consider myself risk-loving, yet I move across the country twice and worked overseas for a year in a country I never saw before taking the job once. A friend of mine once answered the cliche "nothing ventured, nothing gained" with "nothing endeavored, nothing lost." And my brother-in-law proudly displays an old poster in his house with the slogan "bloom where you are planted." Sorry, but I'm a man, not a flower.

Too often students think they have to get responsible, get jobs, get their acts together, long before they know life. So here's my rule: If you make a mistake before you're thirty and realize you made one, life gives you a do-over. ("Thank God," I say in my case.) So endeavor.