Friday, March 1, 2013

Working Hard ... or Hardly Working at UT Tyler?

   When somebody in college says, “I am in an Honors class,” what do you think that means? When I was little and in High School, I took it to mean that [ insert person here ] was smarter than me. I thought, “Man, they must know everything!” and it was certainly true that these kids did different work than me.

    In college I missed the ability to participate in the Honors Department since I was never able to join the program ( either here or anywhere else ) as an incoming Freshman. I was however lucky enough to get to be a part of the English Honors Society ( now run by Luke Gobel, Julia Endicott, and Konner Hudson ) which was an awesome experience.

   But guess what – not everybody can get into these groups, either because of situations like mine ( I was a transfer ) or because some class work hurts your GPA before you can enroll in classes you need for the program.

   Well, what can you do?

   Honestly, this might sound … weird … but do more work. Talk to your professors more, ask if you can help them, and ask to borrow books on subjects you both like. Obviously, also make sure to return those books! Demonstrate that you, as a student, want to be a part of more than simple classes where you just use Facebook.

   Start by not thinking that there is any difference between your passion and the passion of an Honors student or member, because (largely) there is not. What they do have a heads up on however is demonstration towards their ambitions. They have worked hard for their grades, or they have demonstrated a great amount of accomplishment already.

   If you try, you can accomplish things you might not even realize are yet possible.

   EXAMPLE ( one I have used before, but it valid so … yea … ): I worked with Dr. Paul Streufert, Dr. Hui Wu, and various other departments to create an academic conference here at UT.  I started with 0.00$ for my budget and did the following:

- I sold my idea to everyone I could ( Politely! Obviously )
- I crated budget spreadsheets, set up meetings, and made hand-outs
- I thanked EVERYONE after talking/dealing with them

   I've accomplished the same conference multiple times now, with and without a budget. The act of doing the work is what I find fulfilling, not expressly the fact that it impresses others. I impressed myself and that is a huge, HUGE success.

   I have asked professors to read work they are writing, even going so far sometimes to even ask them if they will read my own work.

   I’ve made myself available to others, started clubs/groups, asked for help with things and I have also helped others.

   Another wonderful example of students coming together to accomplish a lot on their own is the HUMANS VS. ZOMBIES game that is about to start up here on campus. Anthony Bern, Amanda Davis, Jonmichael Goodhue ( and so many more ) have done a lot towards trying to make their interests viable on campus.

   With HVZ going into its ( I believe ) third straight run, I’d say they have succeeded!

   If you want to succeed at something, then do it! Don’t worry about what others have accomplished, but rather use them as examples of “what can be done” and then build off their examples. Talk to these people, interview them, grab lunch with them, make friends and be the Honors student/member you know you are capable of being, regardless of if you have a piece of paper that just says “Honors _______” on it.

   Those who succeed are the ones who DO.

   Those who succeed are the ones who want something enough that they’ll do everything in their power to get it.

   Whoever you are, I believe in you! If I can do some of the things I have done, I *KNOW* you can!

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