May 062010
Authors: Robyn Scherer

As I thought about what to write for this column, a couple of ideas struck me. I could write something about agriculture, which is my niche. I could write about current events, things that bother me or problems in an industry.

But I decided to follow the nostalgia that has seemed to hit me over the last couple of days. I can’t believe that I have been here for four years, and that I have had the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions with so many people.

There are a couple of things I have learned, and other students can hope to learn as well. Some of them are fun, others not so much.
One of the greatest lessons I learned was how important it is to befriend not only your fellow classmates, but your professors as well. You will probably need them later in life, whether you think so now or not.

Another thing that I have learned is that half of the things you are required to learn, you think you will never use. I would have to agree with you. There are some courses that I have taken and when I’m done I think, “Well that was a grand waste of time.” But even if you thought this, there is one important take-away message: At least you know what you don’t like.

Part of discovering what you want to do is finding out what you really don’t want to do. Maybe you thought you really wanted to be a veterinarian, and then you took chemistry and decided that maybe it was slightly more challenging than you expected (I can speak to this from experience).

Each experience, whether good or bad, can teach you something. Maybe you had that boy/girlfriend from high school you thought you could never let go of, then you came to college and found out there are a lot of people out there, and if one person doesn’t work, there are more to choose from. Although I can’t really speak to this from experience, I have seen a lot of my friends go through this.

One of the more professional skills I have learned is time management. Being as busy as I am, I had to schedule everything in my life, or I wouldn’t accomplish anything. More importantly though, you need to schedule time for yourself and have some fun. If you don’t, you will literally drown in your own stress (again, I can speak from experience for this).

But the greatest lesson I have learned is that you shouldn’t be afraid to go for what you want. You won’t necessarily get it, but that’s not the point. If you never try, you will never know. Some of you have parents who want you to be doctors or lawyers, but if that is not what you want, don’t do it.

There will come a day when they won’t be around, and if you are not happy in your profession, it makes it hard to get up and go to work each day.

There is a common misconception that people believe, and it has caused a lot of heartache for a lot of kids. That is the phrase, “You can be anything you want to be.” I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but some people do not have the brains to be a rocket scientist or the connections to be president. The key is to set feasible goals, and strive for those.

As I sign off on my last column as an undergraduate, I hope to leave these words of advice. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, but be willing to work for it. It won’t come free.

Robyn Scherer is a senior animal science, agricultural business and journalism and technical communication major. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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