Graduates urged to live life in three-dimensions July 11, 2017 Share via Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn Share via Email
July 11, 2017
July 11, 2017
Christian Eggers, associate professor of biomedical sciences in our School of Health Sciences, urged our graduates to define themselves by more than their majors.
My one piece of advice that I offer to all graduates, is to not let your major, or your professional school, or your career path, define you.
Live life in three-dimensions.
The goal of any university of repute should never just be about creating a professional worker. Indeed, with its focus on providing educational opportunities outside of the discipline of your major, intellectual and entertaining co-curricular offerings, and a strong sense of community, Quinnipiac has tried to instill a more important lesson in its graduates: life is not one-dimensional. No one is, or should be, defined by any one aspect of her or his life, and certainly not by her or his career choices.
While you have been an undergraduate student at Quinnipiac, you have been asked to embrace and appreciate diversity, diversity in culture, diversity in thought and diversity in practice.
In doing so, you hopefully have come to appreciate that life is nuanced; there is no one solution to any problem, no one right way to achieve a goal, no one type of person that is the only one perfectly-suited for a particular task.
There is not an individual among this graduating class that wants to be known and appreciated for only one thing.
On occasion, advisees ask me why students must take courses outside of their disciplines. I am delighted to point out that there are 168 hours in the week, and even if we assume, on average, 50 hours of sleep and 50 hours of work (probably less of one and more of the other, at least to start), that leaves 70 hours where a student will be someone other than who she or he is at work — be it a parent, an athlete, a spouse or significant other, an artist, a writer, a champion for social justice or just someone that needs to engage with people from other walks of life in a meaningful way.
I am confident that few of those that are graduating hold a moment in a classroom as their most cherished memory of college. I am equally confident that many of your most cherished memories in life will not come during work or sleep — but during the remainder of time when you are being the best, most complete you.
So, my advice to those who have graduated is to live life in three-dimensions. Do not let your chosen career path define you. Never stop learning things outside of your professional discipline. Embrace the nuance so often stripped from social media and forum posts.
Always strive to become a fuller, richer and more valuable citizen of the global community.
Importantly, recognize and respect the three-dimensions of others, as well. Never stop trying to understand what those around you know, experience and feel.
Finally, appreciate that when a newly-met stranger asks you what it is that you do, they are not asking who you are. The one thing that I hope your collective experiences at Quinnipiac University have taught you is that the answer to those two questions should never be the same.
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