Learn outside the classroom

May 082008
Authors: Joseph Haynie

If you’re not one of the many students who skip this page and go right to the comics and crossword puzzle then you’ve probably noticed that the opinion section this past week has been different.

With a number of staff columnists getting ready to graduate, opinions and diatribes have been replaced with declarations of faith, expressions of gratitude and words of advice.

Throughout my time with the Collegian I’ve principally written about things I’ve learned in the classroom. I’ve discussed in length why Barack Obama is not qualified to be president. I’ve written about Mitt Romney to the point of being accused of having a man-crush on the former Governor. I even opined about Iraq a few times.

But today I want to detour from the usual and follow in my colleagues’ footsteps, and tell you of a few things I’ve learned outside of the classroom that I feel are important.

First, charity is never a burden.

I once read of an encounter a man had with a billionaire. They met for lunch and discussed a variety of topics. When the man asked the billionaire how he ascended to his position of vast wealth, the billionaire’s answer was not as complex and profound as one would have thought. He simply told the man to give.

As we assist those in need, we are ultimately helping ourselves.

Giving does not always mean giving money. We can give our time to a shelter or a food bank. We can offer a friend a steady shoulder to cry on. We can give our voice to a cause. The return on giving is guaranteed. It may not be immediate, but it will eventually catch up. Karma is a real thing.

There is nothing more important than family, absolutely nothing. However you define it is up to you, but make sure you make time for those people.

I’m of the belief that we should trust people over the age of 50. Previous generations have been through so much, and have even more to offer.

For example, by the time he was my age, my grandfather, had fought in a world war, was married, had a child and graduated college, complete with a master’s degree in accounting.

I look at myself and realize that I have accomplished squat. I’ll be 25 this summer and I’ve just completed my undergraduate studies.

Listening to our elders, those individuals who have been to hell and back or simply have lived longer than us enables us to face and conquer our individual challenges.

Despite what my friends in the College of Engineering think, there is no such thing as a worthless degree, only wasted ones.

Every major from art history to zoology has intrinsic value. If it did not, then it would not be offered.

If one is not able to find something to study that is of interest to them or something that will not enrich their lives or the lives of those with whom they will interact, then they have wasted their time, effort and money here at CSU.

Putting people down because they don’t know equations or fail to appreciate masterpieces demonstrates not only foolishness but insecurity as well.

Even though you may find yourself beat up, try to remain upbeat. Trials are essential, but they are best accompanied with a smile.

Lastly, live life, but don’t be dumb. Regrets may be inevitable, but we can control how many we have.

Oh, and one more thing: CU sucks! Go Rams!

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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