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If I had a penny for every time I heard Hillsdale referred to as “the con­ser­v­ative Harvard,” I could build another Chapel. As senior year comes to a close, it is impos­sible to chal­lenge the incredible edu­cation that Hillsdale gave me and my peers.

Even as I grumbled through baby chem­istry as a Bachelor of Arts student, I never doubted the value of a well-rounded edu­cation. Our parents, the admin­is­tration, and strangers who spot our Hillsdale gear in the airport and yell “I get Imprimis!”, never hes­itate to applaud our one-of-a-kind edu­cation. Truly, Hillsdale has offered edi­fi­cation unlike any under­graduate insti­tution in our country. However, as we leave campus, for good or for summer, it is important to con­sider other things that con­tribute to a good edu­cation. There are things Hillsdale taught us that we ought to carry; things that can fall by the wayside amongst the undi­luted praise of Hillsdale sup­porters.

There is incredible value in setting aside books and papers and going out and living life and par­tic­i­pating in those things that are not strictly aca­demic. Hillsdale is a place of learning, but there is much to be learned outside of the pages of a book. After all, things in books had to, at some point, be observed and absorbed to then be cat­a­logued and cri­tiqued. It seems that Aris­totle had to go out into the world and love and be loved and see love to be able to cat­e­gorize it.

Seniors aren’t the only ones faced with the oppor­tunity to grab life by the horns. In fact, under­classmen can and should start using their edu­cation now. There are so many other worth­while things to spend time on at Hillsdale that don’t present you with a grade at the end of semester, but are just as important to a well-rounded edu­cation.

Extracur­ric­ulars provide a real platform on which to interact with the ideas we learn about in lec­tures. Soci­eties and clubs not only create com­munity, essential to good learning, but also teach stu­dents how to manage mul­tiple tasks and rela­tion­ships at once. However, extracur­ric­ulars are not just for the purpose of self-grat­i­fying resume building. They are a way to self­lessly con­tribute to the Hillsdale com­munity and make a dif­ference in our world. Sure, an incredible GPA is impressive, but if you don’t donate your time to a club or throw yourself into a GOAL program, you will come to realize you have wasted your time at Hillsdale.

God created an incredible world and blessed us with a strong com­munity. There is more to expe­rience than can be found at a desk in the library on a Sat­urday night. No senior would say that you should boycott classes and turn in blank pages for your senior thesis — but, I will say that I remember each March for Life much better than I remember the evenings before my dead­lines. There is excel­lence in friendship, and the ability to maintain good grades, but ful­filling extracur­ric­ulars is not some­thing that should ever be under­valued. Rather, they should be cel­e­brated.

Reaching out of the world of academia does justice to our edu­cation. The purpose of schol­arship is to go and use it to make the world a better place. Frankly, a good GPA means less if it is the only thing that we, as stu­dents, have achieved during our time at Hillsdale. Edu­cation is not in itself an end; it is the means by which we learn to better serve God. Being involved in extracur­ric­ulars is serving others. It’s sup­ple­menting your grades and learning in a way that ben­efits campus and our greater com­munity. Don’t wait until you have a diploma in your hands to start using your edu­cation.

 

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    People call hillsdale “the con­ser­v­ative harvard”? That is the most under­stated approach to Harvard I think I have ever heard. And it is wrong. I also think that if you actually talked to Harvard stu­dents and implied they weren’t con­ser­v­ative or right leaning in some sense (for some of the pop­u­lation) they would say you were foolish and narrow.

    Overall I dont hate your message, but the par­tic­ulars here are just way off. Like a lot of col­legian articles these days they try to slip in weird reli­gious lan­guage that just alienates most people.

    Also, I think you are vastly mis­un­der­standing the expense of the temple to mammon that is being built on campus. It is vastly more expensive than you are imag­ining.