Originally published April 16, 2014
Co-written with editorial board
The time has almost come. Students, faculty and staff, about one more week and you’ve made it through another (perhaps your last) academic year. We just want to give you a little advice before you start your summer—sort of a culmination of all the advice and opinions we’ve given and received throughout the year.
First, be willing to tolerate, respect and eventually work with people who are different from you. Grand Valley State University departments, organizations and students demonstrated positive responses to diversity many times throughout the year with various events, such as the Teach In or different town hall meetings. They showed that acknowledgment and acceptance of diversity is important to the success of our college community—and the greater world community. So lesson No. 1: Get used to diversity, and learn to appreciate it. This is important not only for dreaded group projects, but also for your future workplace. Do you know what people are called when they can’t or won’t work with other people? Unemployed.
Second, don’t be afraid to challenge what is currently in place. This goes for every aspect of your life. Whether it’s university policies or how something is done in the workplace, don’t be afraid to initiate conversation about a controversial topic. Do you know what people are called when they complain about something but do nothing to change it? Whiners. So lesson No. 2: Don’t wait for someone else to act. Be the catalyst of change, and encourage others to join you. But even if you are alone, don’t be afraid to speak up for a cause you believe in.
Finally, take some time for yourself. You’ve just made it through almost four months of homework, more than 200 sleepless nights, and five exams. We know you’ve all got summer jobs, internships and future careers to worry about, but we are asking you to take a day or two off first. GVSU is sandwiched between Grand Rapids, recently named the top place to travel to in 2014, and Lake Michigan, often referred to as the golden shore. You picked a great location to go to school, so take advantage of that and go try something new. Celebrate a little. Do you know what people are called who take the time to relax, explore and adventure? Happy.
Thanks for sticking with us this year, Lakers. Here’s to a great summer, and we’ll see you again in the fall.
Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2014/04/parting-advice-from-the-lanthorn