This past weekend, I volunteered as a member of Fordham's Rose Hill Society for the Spring Open House on campus. The Bronx was buzzing with hundreds of potential students gazing in awe at our welcoming campus and frantic moms and dads flooding my fellow tour guides and me with statistical questions. Most of these students have less than a month to make one of the most memorable decisions of their lives, and it was the least I could do to share with them how happy I am with my decision.
As a prospective student on Fordham's campus, I unfortunately never had the opportunity to hear Father McShane, the president of Fordham University, speak. Some of my closest friends have actually accredited Father McShane with the reason they chose to attend Fordham, deeming him as an eloquent speaker and a true representation of why Fordham University is so special. So, with some time to spare between giving tours, I chose to listen to Father McShane's welcome address in the Rose Hill Gymnasium.
As much as I would like to highlight all the reasons to come to Fordham that Father McShane spoke of (because as a student, I can easily agree that they were all real and true), I'd rather write about one specific section of his speech that struck me as more valid and meaningful than the other obvious reasons of why Fordham University is so great. In the midst of raving about the intelligence and curiosity that Fordham students possess, Father McShane simply said that students at Fordham not only become "bothered," but also learn to feel comfortable with that uncomfortable feeling. Having been a student at Fordham for the past two years, this concept really resonated with me. Fordham's academic curriculum requires students to take a number of core classes in order to graduate. These classes can sometimes be tedious and, honestly, just annoying, especially once you've decided on a specific major. I've come to realize, however, that these classes help students become the well-rounded, knowledgable, and "bothered" students that Fordham prides itself on possessing.
I realize that "being bothered" is a phrase that usually has a negative connotation. As a student who has definitely learned about, wrote about and excessively talked about her fair share of bothersome topics, I've realized that being bothered is in some ways more beneficial than one would assume. Father McShane expanded on this concept by stating that Fordham students become bothered by social issues, injustices, and their lack of knowledge, among other things. For me, I can confidently say that I have been bothered by more issues, controversies, and injustices while attending Fordham University than I have in my entire lifetime. Classes that you'd assume would focus on boring subjects have actually been the ones that have expanded my knowledge the most about our world. For example, a course required for students to take is an English course labeled "Texts & Contexts." For me, I assumed this course would fall directly into the category of boring literature classes that constantly focus on vocabulary, grammar, and symbolism. As much as this is true, the course that I enrolled in, which is sub-titled "(In)Equality," has led me to become more comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations, sometimes even wanting to continue these conversations outside of the classroom.
I can go on forever ranting about how grateful I am that Fordham has allowed me to have these conversations and that I know I will graduate being more bothered than I have ever been before. I will not bore you with these excessive details and examples, however, mostly because I am reaching 650 words and need to spend more time working on homework assignments than I do writing silly articles about why I love my university. I guess you can just add this to the list of things that bother me...