A Life of Usefulness and Reputation

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A Life of Usefulness and Reputation

The moral responsibility of training individuals for a life of usefulness and reputation rests within the university. However, it is difficult to define what this type of life entails. College education, therefore, is not about supplying students with specific moral obligations to be completed over the course of their lives; instead, universities teach their students to be proactive, to question everything, and to never be afraid to make mistakes. I am confident that my education at Brown, both in and out of the classroom, as well as my interests and concerns reflects my acquisition of these moral obligations.

When I entered Brown University as a freshman, I was completely intimidated by my fellow classmates. I was afraid to ask questions in class for fear of sounding unintelligent. I seldom attended my professors' office hours. Paranoid, I spent hours in the libraries trying to memorize all of my material without fully understanding it. At the end of first semester, I returned home feeling unfulfilled academically and socially. Was this what the next four years of my life would be like?

Over winter break, I came to realize that I had been looking at my educational experience completely backwards. In this way, Brown University is a scary place because you can miss the point completely; there is no one looking out for you, holding your hand to tell you to make the right decisions. This is why college is the obvious environment to teach students how to acquire reputable and useful lives. This type of life is not just thrown at you, as it might be in high school. It is the student's job to create a place for himself where he will be academically and socially fulfilled. This is what I learned from my first semester and this is the environment I have tried to create for myself ever since.

Both inside and outside class, I learned to be proactive, to question everything, and never to be satisfied with imperfection. I learned that my classmates were not evil rivals, but fellow comrades with the same educational goals as my own. I found them to be invaluable sources of help and guidance in my education. Although extremely different, each Brown student is incredibly passionate about whatever they love to do. I still like nothing better than to sit in a room with a few friends and discuss ideas and concepts that were presented in class.

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