We have always been told that we need to be responsible.
It started out simply enough, with our first dependability test
involving a desired pet. As we grew up and began to prefer a
nightlife, we fought for the responsibility to have a later curfew.
And as we entered college we learned that in order for social and
academic survival, we had to be accountable for our own actions.
Responsibility is a huge part of life. However, sometimes we become
so preoccupied with handling our everyday tasks that we forget the
importance of taking them to the next level.
As college students, these tasks often relate to our social and
academic lives. Our social responsibilities form within our
personal life and are based around friendships, while academic
duties are more akin to a job. We try our hardest to manage our
time and balance these two among everything else, and seeing that
both are still accomplished, we seem to be doing all right. Though
it may feel as if we are managing these responsibilities to our
best extent, we may actually be stopping before our work is done.
Responsibilities may seem like everyday tasks. However, some have
the ability to give us back great rewards if we just took a little
more time to respond to them.
For example: academics. Sure, we’re in college to further our
education … right? We attend the necessary number of classes, we
complete (the majority of) our projects, and we obligingly take the
exams because after all, that is our responsibility. However, how
often do we really stop to absorb and appreciate the education we
are receiving? There are so many people in the world who are not
fortunate enough to be able to attend an established academic
institution, and yet we often take it for granted. Yes, college is
essential in order to receive a bachelor’s degree, but that does
not mean it has our full attention. Woody Allen once said, ” 80
percent of success is showing up,” but true accomplishment is
reached by responding to what we are given.
Our social life may seem like an unforced responsibility, but
frequently it is what we react to the least. Of course we all try
to our hardest to be a great friend and do what we are expected to
do. We willingly call each other to go out; we listen, advise,
laugh and converse because friendships are a valuable
responsibility. However, are we really doing the best we can?
Sometimes we are so concerned with the duties of just being a
friend that we forget to actually be a friend. If we remembered to
focus on the responses involved in friendships, along with the
responsibilities, we’d be able to give and receive much more.
While friendships and education are top priorities in our daily
lives, an upcoming and current event demands our response as well.
On Nov. 2 we all have the chance to decide who we think should
become the 44th president of the United States of America. Although
we may have completed our duty to register, many of us are not
advancing to that next step. The right to vote is an honor, and
this privilege should be seriously. We need to respond to our duty
as American citizens and step up by making more than a fleeting
By using these next three weeks completely, we have the
opportunity to stand as a powerful force in the election of our
future government. We can use our education to push our knowledge
on the issues at stake and we can use our friends to test our
aptitude through discussion. We have the chance to use our
responses responsibly, and by doing so we will be rewarded by
making a difference.
Kelly Hagenah is a senior speech communication major. Her column
runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.