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Don't Let School Interfere With Your Education

By Peter Adams
On September 28, 2011

So after a little over two years at Xavier, a Mark Twain quote

has greatly defined what I have learned during college. As I am writing this I can already see the cringing of admission counselors at Xavier along with a "what the hell?!?" look emerging from the faces of Jim and Nancy Adams,

but wait before you shred my transcript: I can explain.

As freshmen, we are all ingrained with the idea that

the main purpose of these next four (or possibly more

if you minor in going to Stone's Lanes on Tuesdays)

is to earn a degree. What I think so many people fail to take for granted is the, "Then what?" For most, formal schooling is over, and it is on to the dreaded real world, and many of us will be left saying, "That's it?" Well the answer can go either way. In college, what major you select can at times seem to define you. One of the first things asked of me by relatives, family and friends is "what are you majoring in?" I am not just Pete Adams, I am Pete Adams the accounting

major and another major once he figures his life out. It is what you are, not who you are, that is asked. Ultimately, isn't it a central goal in everyone's life to discover who he

is, what motivates him and how to discover his own potential despite his flaws and imperfections? This idea leads me to a second quote from Emerson's Self-Reliance:

"There comes a time in every man's education

when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance,

imitation is suicide, that he must take himself for

better, or worse as his portion." Yes, I am fully aware

I'm sounding like a philosophy professor right now and

may or may not be talking out of one of my own body

parts. It is discovering, accepting and taking pride in

who you are that is just as valuable as the degree you will get with your name on it. So seniors, relax if you don't have a job offer, and freshmen, chill out about that first test you failed. The world of academia is just one part of your

overall education. Don't place so much stock in learning about botany, Buddhism and that qualified medical expenses must exceed the 7.5% floor of AGI to be deducted

according to the IRS. Yes, all these things could help you get a job someday, but if you let those facts and figures interfere, you might be missing out on a another whole

aspect of your education.

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