Friday, October 11, 2013

Fall Break and Perspective

For most people, Fall Break can't come fast enough…that's how I always felt when I was an undergrad at Scranton.  Don't get me wrong; it's a wonderful and exciting community to be a part of but mid semester tends to be a little overwhelming.  After long nights or early mornings spent in exam preparation, some students can head home feeling a little overwrought.  I hope you all enjoy a break full of family, friends, relaxation and maybe a little catch up time but that you also take advantage of the next couple of days to regain you perspective and to remember that despite all the stress involved in obtaining your education, it truly is an enormous blessing that few get to claim.

Malala Yousafzai

It is important to remember that while studying may feel burdensome at times, throughout the world, people are willing to risk everything for a chance to receive an education.   Malala Yousafzai, sixteen-year-old Nobel Prize nominee and advocate for education rights for women and girls, has demonstrated this reality through her fearless action an eloquent speech, openly opposing the Taliban when they came to her home in the Swat Valley of Pakistan and eventually forbade girls there to attend school.  On October 9, 2012, she was shot in an attempt to silence her defiance but she miraculously survived and continues her campaign.  Despite the terror she has faced, she remains dauntless and speaks of justice and peace rather than hatred and retribution.  

She reminds us that education is about so much more than obtaining a degree or entry into a lucrative career.  It’s about freedom, dignity, the expansion of understanding and purpose and a means to gaining power over one’s circumstances.  As a means of shaking off ignorance and challenging oppression it can bring light to the dark places of the world.  She explains in this video, “Education is a power for women and that is why the terrorists are afraid of education.”

You can watch her powerful interview with Jon Stewart here. 

College life can difficult but it is also tremendously rewarding.  If you feel overwhelmed, come to see an advisor.  We can help ensure you are making the most of your educational opportunities and can help you find ways to navigate the challenges you may be experiencing!

Have a wonderful, happy and safe break and take time to ask yourself, what is the purpose of my education?  Why am at Scranton?

Katherine Robinson
CAS Academic Advisor

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