These past three and a half years of college, I’ve breezed by, just wanting to get my degree and then get the hell out.
I’m sure a lot of you also felt this way, especially the first couple years when you’re sitting in a lecture hall full of 200 students, listening to some professor go on and on about American history. It’s no fun, and while you may make a friend or two, there’s really no telling if you’ll keep in touch when there are no more notes to swap or tests to study for.
But then you start taking your major classes, and things aren’t so bad. You finally find people who are on the same frequency as you, the ones you can share the struggle with together. But even then, it seems like you are so stressed out about doing well in your classes that you don’t take the time to get to know the person sitting right next to you. You sit next to this person twice a week, for at least an hour, throughout the next fifteen weeks; that’s nearly 30 hours spent with this person.
Yet most of us don’t mutter more than a few sentences to each other the entire semester. Isn’t that kind of tragic?
I’m not saying this happens in every single one of your classes, some are definitely more sociable than others, but we’ve all had that one class where no one talks to each other.
I get it, we have our days where we don’t feel like talking to anyone, but if we had made an effort to talk to these people in the first place, then there’s a good chance they’d sense that something was wrong and ask if you were OK. At the end of the day, we all want to know that we are cared for, and even if it’s just the guy in your management class asking how your week is going, it makes the biggest difference (and you might not even know it).
I have definitely met some pretty cool people in my classes, and for those that I haven’t kept in touch with, I deeply regret it. I hope this article lands on your FB timeline and you realize the impact you have made on my life, even if you don’t think you’ve done anything at all.
This past semester I vowed to myself to actually get to know my classmates. You never know who is friends with who, and what they can do for you. I made sure to bring a positive attitude into the classroom and hoped that my efforts would start a chain reaction.
Let’s just say I certainly did not think that the people sitting next to me every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 PM would suddenly become “my people.”
This wasn’t a normal class, it was a life-changing process. Maybe it was because we were forced to get out of our comfort zones, or maybe it was because we didn’t know what the hell we were doing most of the time, but somewhere in the midst of it all, we became better versions of ourselves.
I know you’re probably wondering what class I am talking about. We are all fortunate enough to go to a university that offers entrepreneurship classes. While most of us were taking this as our last business elective, we didn’t expect it to impact our lives as much as it did.
I’m not saying we all magically became successful entrepreneurs after this class (we wish), but it did evoke that entrepreneurial spirit that was inside of us all along.
We learned about the importance of vulnerability, and we encouraged and supported each other to go after our dreams.
If we hadn’t taken this class, we would have never been blessed with the lovely music of James Hooper. James would have never met Andrew, who was actually a DJ, and they would have never gotten the chance to collaborate. Andrew wouldn’t have reconnected with Andres, and we wouldn’t have a place to stay if we ever made it to Guatemala.
I probably would’ve never seen Madelyn, my right-hand woman in accounting sophomore year, again and she would have never landed her dream job. We wouldn’t have dragged Jake along to a football game, even though neither of us understood football. We would’ve never known Sarah Beth was a national champion in horseback riding, and a badass in general, even though she kept quiet in class.
Chris and Regan, if you’re reading this, thank you for letting us be vulnerable in the classroom. Thank you for showing us the true meaning of getting comfortable being uncomfortable, it is something that we will never forget. You have made an impact on all of our lives, and we want you to know that because you taught us that we can say the smallest thing and have the greatest impact on someone’s life without even knowing it. We want you to know it.