One of the first big events I attended at Ohio State was An Evening With Wes Moore, organized by OUAB. Wes Moore, the author of The Other Wes Moore, came in and gave an insightful and powerful speech about the book and about his life experiences. He also gave us some wise advice for college and for our future careers.
Having read his book over the summer prior to the start of college, I was eager to hear him talk to us. I enjoyed the book very much, and I knew that there was more to the book than was at the surface. That is why I was excited for him to come to Ohio State; he could give us some insight into the book and its meaning. However, what I got out of that evening extended beyond the book and into real life and it was a very pleasant surprise.
So what exactly did Wes Moore talk to us about that evening that stuck with me?
Wes Moore discussed with us how in college it is more than just getting a high GPA and graduating within four years, it is about gaining usable and beneficial skills that can be used to improve other people’s lives, not just our own. Us as college students, blessed to go to this University, should use our new knowledge and skills to impact the lives of others. If we as college graduates do not use our degrees to help other people, than it is a wasted degree that will just hang on a wall and collect dust. This may sound harsh, but it resonated with me and served as a reminder to keep things in perspective. Obviously, having a good GPA in college is important, but a few years after college it will not matter. What will matter though is what you are doing to improve lives besides your own, and putting your degree to good use.
I felt as though listening to Wes Moore talk to us has been one of the most important and insightful things I have done since I have been on campus. It was not mandatory to go listen to him speak, but I am glad I did. The lessons I learned will translate not only into my time at college, but also for my future after college. I learned that while I still need to focus on getting good grades, I need to also focus on getting involved with clubs that I have an interest in and using that as a gateway to improve the lives of students on campus and in the community. After college, in whatever field I decide to go into, I need to make sure I am using my college education to improve people’s lives. If I only use my degree to improve my own life, then the degree will not be getting put to good use and it will thus be wasted.
Hearing Wes Moore speak was a great experience and I truly felt like I learned life lessons after it was over. With the stress of getting good grades in college and getting as many internships as possible, students like myself tend to lose focus on why we are at college. We are at college to gain knowledge and skills to improve some aspect of the world after we graduate, whatever that may be.