Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thinking Bigger

It's been a while since I've last posted, and heavens forbid I fall behind! You may believe (and I may want you to believe) that I've been too busy to do so, but I can't really say I haven't had a good half hour to sit down and crank something out. The problem, however, was figuring out WHAT to write.

I could give out more advice. Goodness knows I've done plenty of that in my previous posts here (check 'em out!). Over the last couple of years, I've come to deep revelations and had to rethink a lot of what I knew, or thought I knew, about myself. College just seems to do that to you.

Today, I was hit by another realization. On my way to my dorm room, after having sent, received, and re-sent hundreds of e-mails, I discovered that what I had been doing outside the classroom these past few days had felt more fulfilling to me than anything I'd done in it. I felt happier, almost, while trekking through the cold, having just chased down Macalester reservations staff, Health and Wellness employees, Athletics personnel, and everyone in-between.

While I had at first looked at organizing both a self-defense seminar and Capoeira classes as a chore, or maybe some twisted character-building, I instead found that I was enjoying the process. I enjoyed opening lines of communication between different departments on campus, working with the college's resources and my own to begin pulling together these two events. I felt a sense of accomplishment, despite the process still being underway, because I had taken initiative and, with the help of our esteemed MMAC president, was bringing a newness, an addition, to this place that would not have been here otherwise (however small they may be).

This isn't to say that what happens in the classroom, or what the professor assigns, can't be rewarding or worthwhile. But I've begun to reflect on my own advice over this past year, and now realize that I can put truth to previously tenuous claims. What as a first-year I thought was the right way I can now, more assuredly, confirm.

Classes are important. But really, truly, it's what you can do outside the classroom that inspires creativity, initiative, and lets you pursue your passions. After all, I can't major in martial arts here (though I do hope someone more ambitious than I can change that), but I can engage in that interest outside of class. I'm working to bring Capoeira to Macalester. Who knows what I could do next year (maybe Kung Fu...)?

When I say: "Pursue your interests here," I don't mean just look for your favorite major. Don't limit yourself to interesting classes, student orgs, choir, etc. There are greater rewards out there than just an 'A', so be bold! Take your passion for magic, sculpting, jazz, parkour, dancing, or whatever, and MAKE something out of it! Something that isn't already here, something that YOU think is missing. Open it up to the whole community; create a project or a class, a major or a school-wide event! Hell, take it city-wide! Think unconventional, think daring.

But most of all...think BIG!