I’ve talked to fellow students numerous times about the amount of emails we get on a daily, hourly and sometimes even minute-by-minute basis.
While I have sometimes similarly complained, and can partially understand why it seems burdensome to have 17 emails in your inbox, I argue that we as a student body should reconsider our relentless complaints.
Essentially, we are complaining about opportunities in the form of electronic mail, which are sent directly to the palms of our hands allowing us to immerse ourselves in the activities at Union, a beautiful place we all call home.
Let us remind ourselves that we are a small minority that has access to higher education on this blue planet.
Let us remind ourselves that we are also in the minority for students who attend top tier liberal arts colleges.
We need a serious perspective change.
I beg you to ponder the question: how many children, students and young adults, do not have access to the opportunities that we are given 20 and sometimes 30 times a day, do you think?
Yes, it is redundant at times, but quite frankly, who cares?! We are incredibly lucky, and quite honestly should not look at it any other way.
Let me ask you all: have you ever put on an event at Union?
Have you ever sent out an email via campus events?
If you have not, then I cannot even begin to describe to you the hard work that goes into not only planning these events but also trying to communicate them to the campus.
One of the most efficient ways to do this is through email.
Unless you are planning to become a recluse or to live under a rock, I implore you to read through your emails.
I skim through almost all of my emails quickly to see if there is anything relevant to my interests, and I still have time to do my homework, see my friends, eat a meal and work out.
This is an opportunity for us to practice gratitude.
We are approximately 2,500 of some of the most fortunate young adults on the face of this earth.
Ever think about it that way?
Every campus event email you get is an opportunity for you to learn, grow as a person and give back to the community that has made you who you are. Only a fool would waste that opportunity.
I feel as though some portion of our student body comes to Union and takes for granted what we have.
As a first year, I was someone who took this opportunity for granted.
I loved socializing, playing my sport and occasionally doing homework. I am not saying there is anything wrong with socializing, but it is all about the balance we practice in our lives.
If you like to socialize, kill two birds with one stone and attend a dinner or go to a language table during common lunch; give yourself a purpose!
Relative to the rest of our weeks and months at Union, one hour during the day spent at these student activities is a tiny fraction of our time.
The only thing I regret not doing at Union is not getting involved earlier.
Once I started participating in giving back to the community, amazing things started to happen. I ran for two executive positions on two different clubs and received both positions.
My self-confidence increased. I refined my teamwork skills and had opportunities to work with faculty and staff.
This is an invaluable experience, free and available to us right here at Union.
My self-worth began to derive from the work I did, and am still doing, rather than social media, my social life or my material possessions.
My career goals and personal aspirations began to change as a result of my involvement.
I began to understand what I loved and did not love, and worked hard at the things that interested me.
I was put into a situation where I had no choice but to learn how to manage my time.
The intrinsic value of these 17 emails in your inbox is so much greater than one might think at first glance.
At first glance, it may be overwhelming and frustrating. However, I argue it’s actually quite the opposite.
We are so lucky to live in a community filled with opportunities. This community is here to help us grow, learn and develop ourselves.
With that being said, next time you have 25 emails in your inbox, don’t scowl. Smile! Get excited that you are lucky to be in a place where twenty different groups of people want to spend time with new students and encourage you to participate actively in our community.
Take a chance and try something new.
I can guarantee the only thing you will regret is not doing this sooner. As it is said in Horace’s Odes 1.11.8.,“Carpe diem!”