Upon graduating high school, it felt as though everyone and their grandmother had a bit of wisdom to impart before I entered the next “chapter” of my life (the “real world,” some people called it, as if everything up to then had been some kind of trial run). Of all the advice I received, the best ultimately came from my dad, who told me to take advantage of my upcoming education by learning what it was that I was truly passionate about in hopes of potentially making it my future career. I had struggled for a long time, desperate to know what it was I wanted to “do” with my life and to find a way to translate that into something that paid a living wage. My dad saw more clearly than I the benefit of attending a liberal arts college like K for this exact dilemma; with no general education requirements to stifle or limit whatever it is was I wanted to study, I found myself free to take classes in a range of areas without being bogged down with unnecessary classes that I had no real interest in. Building on my dad’s advice, I would advise all K students, especially incoming first-years, to explore all kinds of classes in all kinds of fields. Not only does taking a wide variety of classes this give students a broader idea of which subjects they truly thrive in, but this creates a more comprehensive and holistic education that employers will appreciate after graduation.
Even so, there were some things all the advice I had been given couldn’t prepare me for, rather, it was simply a matter of experiencing life at K for myself. If I were to go back in time and give six-months-ago me some sorely-needed guidance, I would tell myself that, in the epic quest to discover what to “do” with my life, it’s alright to feel a little overwhelmed. What’s more, if that feeling does come to pass, it’s incredibly important that I, or anyone, seek out help from others. There are numerous resources on campus created specifically to improve and ease the life of K students: the health center, the counseling center, the Writing Center, the Center for Career and Professional Development (or CCPD), and many others. Not only do we all have these numerous spaces within the college to seek, but the campus community itself is. It is rare that you won’t find a fellow student or faculty member prepared to help out in some way, primarily with – you guessed it – plenty of advice. It is a bit of a learning curve, especially for those who value their independence so highly, to master the very real skill that is asking others for help. But K has taught me many things in the few short months I’ve been here – life lessons in addition to academic knowledge.
-Addie Dancer ’20