Monday, April 25, 2016

Life is a Banquet

Last weekend, I went to a college lacrosse game -- the first one I've ever been to. I know nothing about lacrosse, but last semester, I had five lacrosse players in my freshman seminar, and I wanted to get a glimpse of the sport that was such a driving force in their lives and, perhaps, even see them play.

It was a beautiful day, and the team won. None of "my kids" played, but I did see a couple of them, and I was glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone and spend a couple hours getting sunburned and doing something different.

After the game, as I headed back to my comfort zone (Starbucks), it occurred to me how many opportunities I missed when I was in college. Unless something was already in my sphere of interest, I didn't check it out. I could count on one hand the number of sporting events I attended, and I wonder now why I didn't take advantage of all my campus had to offer.

I can't go back and re-do college, and, if I'm honest, I have few regrets, and none that would warrant a do-over. But, I have a college-bound senior daughter, and it's not too late for her to benefit from my less-than-timely realizations. So, here's what I'll tell her.

Geralt via Pixabay
Do stuff. All those things you loved doing in high school? Seek out opportunities to continue doing them in college. Pack your flute and take it with you -- maybe even try out for the band. Don't assume you're not good enough. If it interests you, give it a shot.

Try stuff. All that stuff you wanted to do in high school but didn't? It's not too late. Don't assume that everyone else in that club or activity already has experience. If it interests you, check it out. See if newbies are welcome. Once you leave college, you'll pay per activity for all that fun stuff that's included in your tuition.

Go to stuff. It wasn't until I worked on a college campus that I realized how much is going on all the time. Speakers, concerts, sporting events, seminars, workshops, lectures...and from people who know what they're doing. Don't just go to class and to the library and hang out with friends. Check out all the other stuff that's going on and take advantage of it. Go to a lecture on a topic that interests you. Go watch a team play a sport you've never tried. Go listen to classical music firsthand, played by your peers. (Or better yet, grab your flute and become part of the process).

Fortunately, my daughter is already ahead of me, attending lectures and a concert and even taking a class on the same campus where I watched lacrosse. Watching the ease with which she now does these things, I realize how ready she is to take the next step in her life. While I'm sure it will be filled with more than just classes and homework and guest lectures by scholars (as it should), I hope she'll realize early on that there are myriad ways to learn outside the classroom and will make it a point to take advantage of them as she settles into the next chapter of her life.

No comments:

Post a Comment