Pride comes with being a student

Denise Watt

Denise Watt

Ah spring. Amid the endless cases of spring fever, another illness is striking some students on campus – senioritis.

Those who have it know the symptoms well. Itching to graduate, those who have earned their degrees will soon enter the working world. Others will further their education. Still others will no doubt travel to or work in a foreign country.

Not yet a senior myself, I can’t speak for those currently suffering from senioritis, although some days I can feel a twinge of it settling in. That didn’t keep me from planning to declare a second major at the close of the semester.

Although a break from the very real stresses of college life may seem appealing, the college life itself does have its charms.

In fact, this past week, several people that I know well felt the need to remind me of the story of Johnny Lechner, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student now in his 11th year of college. News articles say that Lechner cites the college lifestyle as his reasoning for staying so long in academia. He pays a “slacker tax,” or extra tuition because he has so many credits.

Penalized for learning? Possibly. I don’t know what Lechner means when he says “lifestyle.” In my opinion, I don’t think that college should be used as an excuse. And I don’t personally plan on attending college for 11 years, at least not all at once. However, I do think that we who attend college should relish the experience.

I think we forget sometimes that learning is a privilege- something we students take for granted. And we should make the most of it.

College offers opportunities to learn both in and outside of the classroom.

Through SDSU or related activities, I have been able to travel to New York City and California. A South Dakota native, I have seen places and met people within my state that I might not have if I hadn’t gone to school. Earning a degree is hard work, and sometimes not very fun. Learning should be difficult if you are doing it right. But what a rewarding experience. One that can prepare us not only for jobs but to be lifetime learners, willing to push the limits that only we can set for ourselves.

So if you are graduating this spring, congratulations! You’ve earned it. If not, that’s ok, too. Hang in there. After all, degree-seeking isn’t a race.

And if you, like me, find yourself thumbing through the fall course book and it seems that you are finding more classes you’ve taken than not, that’s just fine. Take another class just for fun. There’s always next year.

Denise Watt is a junior journalism major.