Get involved with your education

Helen Rogalski, Managing Editor

College is hard. It can often feel like a juggling act between class work, extracurriculars, and having a life. Friends, family, and professors all expect the most out of us. I oftentimes have a to-do list so long that it takes up multiple sticky notes. It’s easy to find things to complain about: lack of sleep, an unfair grade, the long line at Port City Java.

In the middle of the spring semester, I was super busy and complaining a lot. With many papers due and an endless supply of readings on top of extracurricular obligations, it was easy for me to feel like the victim. Then I watched Malala Yousafzai’s documentary He Named Me Malala and regained some perspective.

There are 70 million children in the world who do not have access to an education. There are people like those shown in the documentary whose right to education has been stripped. There are people who never had the opportunity to get educated in the first place. Then, there are people like me, and many of my peers, who complain about the obligations that go along with getting an education.

Not only was I lucky enough to have access to an education, but I was lucky enough to choose which university to attend. Once here at UNCW, I got to choose what classes I wanted to take and which major I wanted to study. These are great opportunities and great gifts.

So, I don’t want to take my education for granted anymore. I want to be an active part of it. Getting involved, really involved, with the classes we take and the information being taught can only help us. We are studying what we are because it’s what we want to do in our lives, right? We take the classes we do because they seem the most interesting or are required for our degree. We are lucky enough to have an education and to have the right to choose what that entails, for the most part.

It’s so easy to complain about general education requirements, an unfair professor, or a disappointing grade. However, we have to remember that we’re the ones doing this. We are the ones signing up for classes and doing the work. And we are so lucky to be able to! I don’t want to take that opportunity for granted anymore.

After this realization, I set a goal for myself to be a more active part of my own education. To be more grateful. To be more involved. So, rather than get stuck on the busy track, and stare at my daunting to-do lists, I want to remind myself how lucky I am to have this opportunity and to make sure I’m making the most of it.

Study what you want to study. Take the classes you want to take. Ask the questions you want to ask. Get involved. Millions of people around the world don’t get the opportunity to do so.