By Sebastian Romero
Being a busy student at BYU, it is sometimes easy to get so caught up with school work that I stop appreciating the education that I am acquiring. Despite what you’ve heard from your friends in the accounting program, school is not supposed to be miserable and dreadful. It should require sacrifice and hard work, but that same hard work is supposed to bring us happiness and satisfaction. One of Karl G. Maeser’s quotes in the gallery helped me realize this. He said, “Eagerness to earn bread and butter has overshadowed many a golden opportunity.” This means to me that, the purpose of an education is not simply to get a job, make money and eventually retire and move to Florida. Education means much more than that.
True education is supposed to inspire, motivate and change students. Now, this is easier said than done. I mean, after reading 60 pages of a textbook, the only thing I am inspired to do is burn the book. For this reason we must always be looking for these golden opportunities Maeser referenced. We must find joy along the journey, as it is often said. We can do this by looking for opportunities to serve, meet new people, and experience new things during our college years.
This is part of what God envisioned for us when we came to earth. Lehi said in the Book of Mormon, “Men are that they might have joy.” I’ve seen too many times, friends feel guilty for enjoying themselves. As if success in school is the only reason for coming to earth. The prophets have instructed us to show moderation in all things. I believe this includes studying as well. My intention is not to excuse poor academic standing as a part of “enjoying the journey.” To the contrary. If Maeser taught us anything, it is that, as members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, we must excel in academics and all other aspects of life. Anyone can be a good student if he or she is willing to shirk on all of their other life responsibilities. But it takes real commitment, discipline and prayer to be able to be a good student while still experiencing and participating in other aspects of life.
The real growth in life will not take place in front of a text book, or in the testing center. The real growth is achieved when we allow our education to become who we are and allow it to mold us into a better friend, disciple and child of God. So let us press on, always striving to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ and enjoy every moment we have been given.