I write this post as someone with more than $50,000 in student loan debt. I write this as someone who has two degrees. I write this as someone who still believes in the power of higher education. I write this as someone who belongs to the generation most deeply impacted by our country's financial crisis. I write this as someone who has spent the last 10 months applying for jobs in the nonprofit sector.
Every generation has a moment they are measured against. Some of these moments are more memorable than others. My generation is not facing war or great changes in the social landscape. We are up against globalization, foreign competition and the loss of American ideals like economic fairness, opportunity and a belief that our best days are ahead of us. Realizing challenges are merely opportunities, it behooves my fellow Central graduates to rise to the occasion.
While at Central, both as a student and employee, the "three C's" were preached on every corner of campus. We as Central students were supposed to be dedicated to ideals of civility, character and community. Now, more than ever, our communities, country and planet are asking us to live out those ideals. These simple notions can be strived for in everything we do, big or small. These notions will lead to a more level playing field, more opportunities for all and the restoration of our American ideals. To do so, we must lead; another thing our university preached.
When I speak of student loan debt, things out of our control or the grueling job hunt, I do so knowing our best days are ahead of us. My experience at UCO was a privilege. It is the reason I am optimistic about the future. That optimism is rooted in a belief that we will rise to the occasion. We will lead. We will display unmatched civility in the boardroom or on the job site. We will exemplify model character in our dealings with those with and without power. We will understand our communities are waiting for us to lead. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Equipped with the most powerful of all weapons, knowledge, it is time for us to get to work.
Thanks for entering my world,