August 31, 2021
In the summer after high school, I started asking around about what college would be like.
I got a variety of answers.
Some warned me of the radical nature of the students. Others told me how similar my high school was to my college—just bigger in size, and I’ll have more food options. Still, others talked about how college is a “marketplace of ideas” and “convergence of dreams.”
Was I excited to enter college? For sure. But, I was also terrified.
Would I be eaten whole by new ideas and causes? Will I lose myself because of the many voices vying for my attention? Would I even be able to hold on to my values and convictions amid peer pressure?
if you’ve been through college or are halfway through it, you probably can relate. Or if you’re about to enter college or a college freshman, these might also be some of the many thoughts in your head.
True enough, college had been both fun and challenging—even terrifying at times. More than the lessons in class, college taught me a lot of things that helped shape me into the person I am today. I also realized that learning doesn’t stop in school. There’s a bigger (and sometimes more terrifying) “university” beyond my college years: the school of life.
This had me thinking: With all the issues and problems that our country is facing at the moment, I couldn’t help but wonder about how things would’ve been different if we had more capable and trustworthy leaders at the helm.
What would our country look like if we had leaders who refuse bribes and are committed to respect and observe the law? What kind of society will we have if our leaders have faith and godly convictions? What kind of public service will we receive if the leaders who plan and implement projects are committed to deliver excellent service?
While these questions could trigger our frustrations, I hope that it does more than that. My prayer is that these questions will ignite our hope and inspire us to aspire for change in our nation.
And, as cliché as it sounds, change begins with ourselves.
The things that we want to see in our leaders, we can start developing in ourselves today. The mistakes that we see them make, we can aspire not to commit and to hopefully undo when it’s our turn to lead. More than that, the values we want to uphold and promote in society, we can start building now so that the next generation will run with it as well.
What are these values? Leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence. In short, let’s value and promote LIFE!
How does embracing LIFE look like in today’s set up?
Here are some situations that will give you opportunities to promote and observe these values:
1. Online Classes. Because this is the closest thing we can get to a face-to-face classroom experience, we can maximize this opportunity to develop and exemplify good values.
Do you try your best to come to class prepared? That’s called excellence.
Do you really participate in class even when your camera is turned off? That’s integrity.
Do you lend a hand to your classmates who are having a hard time in class? That’s leadership.
Do you set a good example in terms of respecting authorities and handling stress? That’s faith.
2. Modules and group activities. Whether you have asynchronous classes or not, more than likely you’d be loaded with modules throughout the semester. Again, we can check ourselves in these situations while minding the factors that affect our academic experience.
How can you pursue leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence in managing your schoolwork?
Leadership. Consider offering help to your classmates when you can. You can also invite your classmates to a group study in order to motivate and help each other.
Excellence. Be diligent in studying your lessons, answering your modules, and avoiding backlogs. You can ask help from your classmates or consult your teachers if you find the lessons difficult.
Integrity. Answer all exams and assessments fairly, accomplish papers without plagiarism, and try your best not to cheat.
Faith. As followers of Jesus, exemplify your faith through your actions, not just when there are people around, but especially when nobody’s there to check on you.
In summary, every class, module, and group activity is an opportunity to serve, grow, and make a difference.
How we conduct ourselves here can help build healthy habits and good foundations for life beyond college. It can give you a headstart into making an impact wherever you’ll be called to.
God has so much in store for every one of us, and He’s given us the tools and the community we need; if only we endure and remain faithful.
The change we want to see in society begins on the campus, whether physical or online. And this change starts with you as you resolve to live a life of leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence.