Your Degree Is Not For You

Your Degree Is Not For You

A finals week wake-up call.

Here's a wake-up call that you didn't expect in the middle of finals week. That degree that you're pursuing? It isn't for you. This incredible video explains why.

Vimeo user Daniel Robinson released this tear-jerker of a video recorded by Christian spoken-word artist Stefan Vandenkooy during the most stressful time of the semester for college kids: finals week.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

As college students, we seem to be competing to see who puts the most espresso shots in their Starbucks drinks, who stays up the latest taking notes over something that we should have read weeks ago, and even who binge-watches the most Netflix during intermittent fits of procrastination.

Vandenkooy's video begs the question, "When did we become so selfish?" We don't respond to each others' "How-are-you"s with "good," instead we respond with "tired," "stressed" or, usually in my case, "dying," because of the tremendous stress under which we place ourselves during this time of the year. We forgo the things that we enjoy to buckle down so that we can pull out great grades and find ourselves on the Dean's List. Once that happens we seek even further gratification by telling all our Facebook friends about what a tough road it was and how proud we are of ourselves for making those grades.

But we aren't the ones hurting. The ones who are truly hurting and in need are the ones who we will be able to help with our degrees--doctors and nurses will be able to lift up patients tortured by maladies and their families who suffer by their sides, business people and politicians will seek to affect change to help those who cannot help themselves, and teachers will fill the minds of children so that they can become the next generation of college graduates.

We focus on the negatives not because we are truly hurting, but because we want to be listened to, to be paid attention, but it's for all the wrong reasons. As college students pursuing degrees, we are not the ones to whom the attention should be paid. We are not the be-all, end-all. That title belongs to our Heavenly Father through whom and by whom and from whom everything we are and everything we do arises.

This video was such an incredible, convicting wake-up call. For me, it finally gave me an answer as to what I want to do with the rest of my life. No, it didn't paint a picture in my mind of where I'll work, how many degrees's I'll have framed on the walls of my office, and if that office is in a corner with my own bathroom or if it's just a cubicle. Instead, it reminded me that I'm incredibly privileged to receive a college education because I can use it to better serve my God.

We're so restless and sleep-deprived because of our laser-like focus on graduating, finding a job, and making money that we forget to seek rest in God and to insert that inner peace into our studies.

The most riveting part of this video for me was when Stefan said, "Your degree is not for you. It is for those who are hurting."

The degree that we receive is not a piece of paper that we can hang on a wall, use as a conversation topic with strangers or just a line item on a resume. Our college degrees should be treated as the key to a door that we will be able to open in order to comfort those who are hurting and help those who cannot help themselves. As finals week approaches you should find peace in God and in the fact that what you're doing is so incredible. We may be sleepy, overly caffeinated, and anxious as all get-out, but through God, we are spiritually awake and we are at peace.

"Your degree is just the door. Your work ethic is the key. But it is only by the grace and the strength of God that you will walk through that door and help whoever may be on the other side."

Popular Right Now

How Speed Dating Helped Me In A Class Where I Knew No One

In most classes, the first day (or few days) is mainly for reviewing and studying the syllabus, but clearly my professor had something a little bit more untraditional in mind.

Upon the beginning of a new semester, the start of new classes means there are a lot of new people to meet.

At my university in particular, our community is huge (40,000 undergrad), and we all have had many enormous lecture halls where it is basically impossible to get to know every single person in the room. However, there are certain classes where the amount of students is significantly downsized, and different types of students will have different reactions to this.

When I arrived on my first day of English-15 class (the required English class for every student in attendance at the university), the initial moments were awkward and somewhat nerve-racking. As I sat in my seat surrounded by 22 unknown faces, my professor instructed that we were going to play a game. In most classes, the first day (or few days) is mainly for reviewing and studying the syllabus, but clearly my professor had something a little bit more untraditional in mind.

My professor then said that we were going to be “speed-dating” with others in our class. I had always thought that the term “speed-dating” was to be used in a romantic sense only, and in my eyes, the classroom was not the appropriate place for this. As we were quickly organized to sit face-to-face with complete strangers, I was all of a sudden intrigued.

For twelve rounds, we were given about three minutes to talk to each of our classmates. While about half of the time allotted was filled by obligatory small-talk (i.e. where the other person is from, what they plan to study, how old they are), the other half of each conversation continually turned into something different each time I spoke with someone new.

I talked about many different topics of varying importance and seriousness, but the interesting part was that I created these conversations with people I had never even seen prior to the start of class that day.

Although it was nine o’clock in the morning and I would have usually left class feeling sleepier than when I arrived, this first day of class was far from what I expected and I felt energized by the end of it. Although it was difficult to keep track of what I talked about and with whom I talked about it, speed dating largely improved the dynamic of the classroom and made the situation a lot less awkward than most first-day-experiences I had previously been a part of.

Although talking to strangers has its way of making some people feel initially uncomfortable, it really is the most efficient way to break the ice among students.

As educators of all different levels are actively creating new teaching methods for this generation of students, being a student myself, I feel as though the beginning of academic success begins with comfort inside of the classroom. Although the terms “speed-dating” and “learning” don’t traditionally go together in an academic sense, they helped create a pleasant environment in our classroom that will ultimately motivate me to feel comfortable around my peers and my professor alike.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Rented My Textbooks From Chegg And I Saved Hundreds

Say Goodbye to overpriced books, and say hello to cheap ones!

Textbooks have to be one of the worst parts of college. I love to learn, I love my classes, but I hate the textbooks that come with them. It has nothing to do with the content, but the price tag.

In college, you pay a ridiculous amount of money for textbooks because professors either have you buy the newest edition where there isn't a rental or used book to purchase, they make it available only in an E-book format, or they have you buy the textbook that comes with an additional $100 access code just so you can do your homework. It's stressful and ridiculous and I always find myself spending over $200 for textbooks each semester. Yeah, not per year, per SEMESTER.

This semester, I decided to take a little more action when it came to my books. Instead of ordering my books through the school bookstore, I did some research. I tried Amazon, but they were about the same price as the bookstore if not more at times.

So, I scratched that off my list. Then, I turned to buying used books from other students. It worked with a couple books, but a lot of people didn't have the version of the book I was looking for or were also selling it for a ridiculous price. With only two of the six textbooks I needed in hand, I was at a loss for what to do next. Then, I heard about this website called Chegg. I actually stumbled upon it while looking on Pinterest for "Cheap College Textbooks." I had always heard of Chegg, but I always figured it was too complicated and chose to never use it.

Let me tell you, that was stupid. I looked up the three books I needed and the total price for the three of them had my jaw dropping. My total came out to $85, which was the price of just one of my books at the bookstore.

Below my total, Chegg told me I was saving over $200. Can you believe that?! On top of that? They also offered me free shipping and it would be in my hands in 2-3 days. Also, instead of having to return my books the last week of school, I had a whole extra month to do it. I mean, I probably won't need that long, but hey, life happens sometimes and you forget!

They also send you a label to print off and you just have to pack the books up and ship them off! No return lines, no waiting, just returning your books on your own time.

There are also many other features to Chegg that include free E-books of the textbook you just rented, study tips, and lessons that go along with the books you rented. It really helps when it comes time for homework and tests!

There is a Chegg App that you can download to keep track of your orders and you can also use it for some of these features and to sell some of your own books that you might have!

One last thing that made me just fall in love with Chegg is that when I opened my box, it had a bunch of free goodies inside! There was a sample bag of tide pods, a coupon for MORE tide pods (I can never get enough of those honestly), gum, some coupons and even some gift cards that could be used for cute things for my room and also for some meals! It was just a really nice thing to find because it made me feel like more than just a college student trying to get cheap books.

It actually made me feel like a real person. That may sound odd, but it's true! By them just putting in something extra in my box, it helped eased my stress and mind about all the book troubles I had and it showed me that the people who work at Chegg actually care. They could have just sent my rental books, but they took the extra mile, and I think that's what every textbook rental place should be doing. I ordered my textbooks from Chegg and I'm telling you, I'm never using any other rental place.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Facebook Comments