September 12, 2016
Students, in whatever role we have on campus, off campus or at home, have standards we’re expected to live up to.
More than we’d like, these expectations can result in conflict between people. When we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, we start to see all sides of a different perspective. But more importantly, it is necessary for us to create a dialogue with each other.
There are many situations when we’re left to assume ideas about one another, because we were unable to communicate our misunderstandings, concerns or questions in an open manner. We let our pride overshadow our ability to simply talk with each other.
It is easy to assume that we are right from our own background, but first we need to look at where someone else is reaching out from.
We can be biased toward what we know in our own lives, but not everyone shares the same experiences that we do to shape their world view.
If there are other organizations, groups or departments on campus that we do not fully understand, we need to talk to people to learn more about what they do. This will spark new and better ideas from unanswered questions and concerns.
Conversations between people, and even between departments, lead to a sense of unity on campus. Regardless of what we do for extracurricular activities, we are all here for the same purpose: to become educated.
Especially at a university, we are simply going to do what is expected of us, including student media. If student media don’t have the chance to try, fail or succeed in what we do, we will never have the chance to improve.
We get it; we all work or are a part of an organization, class or job that we take seriously or have a passion for, but people tend to look at other people with a biased lens from their own involvement in their club/organization, which media are guilty of too.
It is important to step back from your own opinion and research other view points to be the most well-rounded person you can be when it comes time to sit down and have a discussion.
Popular quotes that circulate the internet show that even the people we consider to be the best in history, such as Albert Einstein and Ben Franklin, failed before they succeeded.
Like many students that are new in their roles, ultimately, we are all learning, whether it is here at the newspaper, being a teacher’s assistant or becoming a new member of a club or organization on campus. This is why we have public universities, to create conversations about difficult topics.
Whether that’s with your classmates or within a department, educating each other and having a productive conversation instead of a debate should improve the way our university functions now and in the future.
One day, we will leave college and pursue our desired careers using the skills we learned in class. But we will also have to know how to communicate and work with others, regardless of our job setting.
We will never stop meeting people who have a different perspective than us; it won’t end after college.
So, we need to open our minds now before we fall back on an ignorant mindset.