After a couple hundred class hours, a few dozen exams and enough written assignments to kill a rainforest, the class of 2010 is about to get a $200,000 piece of paper and a firm handshake in return. We’ll be assured that we are now officially prepared to tackle whatever life throws at us. I imagine we’ll lose track of the number of times during commencement we hear our class is going to “change the world.”
Another common graduation cliché is that some students will claim they didn’t learn all that much in class. Personally, I think I might have learned too much. With my music degree, I can tell you when it’s precisely the right time to use a Neapolitan sixth chord, while my political science degree makes me one more guy with far too many opinions. I might not have room left to learn the practical necessities I’ll need later on such as how to fix a sink.
But I second the idea that much of what you get from a college degree is found outside of the classroom. Let’s face it: Emory can be tough. With the little spare time that remains unrelated to academics, Emory students, — possessing a coma-inducing combination of ambition and personal drive —, have the tendency to push themselves and get involved in many ways around campus. When I first arrived, I quickly learned you couldn’t rely on talent or past achievements to stand out. Everyone here was either their high school class president, won some prestigious scholarship or seems to be well on their way to discovering the cure for cancer. Getting to interact with and simply be a part of such a group of people will be one of the highest honors of my college years. Everybody here not only made their way to the finish line, but found a unique path to excel. I’m just proud I could be counted as one among them.
Scott McAfee is a College senior from Kennesaw, Ga. He was president of the College Republicans.