Eduardo Alvarez/ Contributing Writer
Whether an internship at a law firm, a job at your local town hall or a part in your city’s theater group, going beyond university borders is essential in terms of networking opportunities. This is the reason for which graduate and professional schools take an interest in our lives beyond campus. A person’s contributive power works in cycles.
In the same way that our university education will help us in the outside world, outside education and experience — be it a job, military service, or an idealistic cause — will return to benefit our schools and further connect them to the big pond for which we are preparing intellectually, socially and culturally.
Precisely, one of the more common criticisms of the American university is that it resembles a sort of ivory tower. This may be true in some respects, but we mustn’t be discouraged, for the remedy is quite simple.
If we are in school, it’s in order to give back to society, to arm ourselves with the tools necessary to give back, and thus benefit ourselves in the process.
To do this, the society we strive to serve ought to give back to us. The most direct way to do this is to be part of that society that gives back.
FIU is very privileged in this sense. Our student body is composed of people from all over the world. This makes it possible, for instance, for a person playing football for the school or writing in its sports column to have participated in a strong, regional team. It means that political science students may be engaged in local elections, radio shows and other forms of activism.
For those who are more enclosed within campus and academic life, this is especially important, as this interaction makes whatever book smarts we acquire more stocked with the practical skills of an admittedly less sheltered and pious world.
The same goes for our professors. The fact that among us have dwelt Luis Guillermo Solis, current president of the Republic of Costa Rica, as well as senator Marco Rubio, an adjunct professor of political science, constitutes an invaluable asset.
These sources of knowledge are more readily available in places like Miami, a great enclave of everything human and divine of which FIU is a microcosm, so that those of us who have hesitated to engage in whatever activities enpassion us should begin to do so as soon as possible.
Furthermore, those who are involved in something but haven’t found a way of tying it back to our ebullient Panther community should be certain that there are at least a few others amidst our 55,000 strong clan who share those very interests.
It’s this way that universities are built.
For example, a musician who plays in outside venues starts a club in school. Other students similarly looking for a place on campus in which to direct their musical outlets join the club, providing an even bigger platform for future students. This improves the university’s musical education, making FIU-trained musicians performers of a higher caliber.
So then, be aware of your peers’ and professors’ off-campus activities, appreciate and promote them as a token of great wealth, diversity, and utility. And don’t just eat the croquetas; place one on the tray.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.