I think, therefore, I am

One of my professors told my class the other day, “I am not here to tell you what to think or how to think, but to get you TO think.”

When he said those words it really resonated with my belief of what I have come to believe the college experience is truly about. Up until this point in our lives, most of our teaching has been instructional and guided. College is about opening our minds, discovering ourselves, fueling our passions and finding the paths that will give us fulfillment in life.

Coming into my first semester I did not know what to expect. I was accustomed to the purely instructional learning method and hearing someone tell me to think for myself came as kind of a shock. The fact that I was being encouraged to manifest my natural curiosity and self-express was a foreign concept. Most of my life I had been told what to study and learn and now I was being told to express my individuality.

The college experience gives us the opportunity to ask questions, to go against the status quo, to not accept everything we are told but to discover the truth for ourselves. College gives us the opportunity to “think” just like my instructor said. Our generation is the future and we need to have the capacity, and courage, to question.

One thing that many people do not understand though is that you only get as much out of college as you put in. All of the tools for success are at our disposal, but it is up to us to utilize them. Your college involvement is what you make it, and can be a life changing experience if you have the motivation and desire to pursue opportunities that will enrich your journey.

Every one of us comes from a different background, different circumstances, and has a unique story that has shaped us into the people we are today. Every individual’s journey is unique and wholly his own. In this environment you are allowed to customize your learning to compliment the goals you seek to achieve.

While IVCC may be a small community college and transitory for many, I have learned that it has a lot to offer. The genuine respect, understanding, and concern that I have felt from my instructors is still unbelievable sometimes.

The instructors that I have come to know over this semester have more invested in their job than a paycheck; they truly care. They are passionate about their profession and will do their best to help us succeed. Whether it is through motivation, encouragement, or even a listening ear I have the utmost respect for the faculty I have come to know personally.

I encourage everyone to look back at this semester and truly reflect on the questions you asked, or didn’t ask, the progress you have made, and the things you were involved in. Are you getting as much out of this experience as you desire? If you can’t answer yes, I embolden you to take advantage of the opportunities before you.

While some days may be arduous and tiresome just remember that every day is an opportunity and can be great if you make it so. My admonition to you is to ask the hard questions, stand up for your beliefs and ideals, get involved, and like my instructor said think for yourselves and become your OWN self.