Welcome to PIT! Why Are You Here?
September 14, 2011 2 Comments
The first R-rated movie I was allowed to see was Animal House—the classic 1978 movie about a group of fraternity brothers who were on “DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!” The movie was rude, crude and hilariously funny, but it had a much deeper impact on me than a few laughs. It is literally the reason I decided that I NEEDED to go to college. Neither of my parents was a college graduate—my father had taken a few college classes over the years, but he was career Air Force and we never lived in one place long enough for him to work on a degree. My mom had neither the interest nor the inclination to go to college, so I grew up in a household where college was not really on the horizon.
Animal House gave me my first real understanding of what college was. From the toga parties, to the classroom scenes to the penultimate scene of the horse in the Dean’s office (please don’t get any bright ideas!), I was in love with the idea of college. The best part of the movie was the end where the future careers of the party animals were listed—all professional careers—the funniest of course was John Belushi’s character: Senator Bluto Blutarsky!
A few years later, I set off for college. While I didn’t quite live up to the party standards set by Animal House, I definitely made some excellent life-long friends and received a degree that has served me well over the past twenty years.
So the question I have for the students who are reading this is: What inspired you to come to college? Is it a family member or a friend? Is it the chance to pursue a career in something you love? Is it a way of figuring out what you love? A way to buffer the transition from high school to real life? Or is it in pursuit of the big bucks? We all come to college with different motivations, but the one thing in common is that we have made it here. When the going gets tough (and it will—I guarantee it), you need to remember what inspired you! More importantly, you need to remember that you will be an inspiration to someone else. A few years after I finished my degree, my father graduated with his degree. He told me that he wasn’t going to be out-educated by his daughter!
When school is overwhelming, and the workload seems crushing, you need to remember that your effort and your dedication will not only reward you, but it will impact everyone in your life! Nelson Mandela said it best, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
And in honor of Animal House, my best friends grew up to be a psychologist, a marine biologist, a nurse practitioner, a fraud analyst, a registered nurse, a film director, and oh yeah…a college instructor!