Cru at Drexel University Jan. 18 — not crew (the rowing team), but Cru, a Christian group. We recently had a speaker named Shay Scott from Temple University come to speak. She’s a 26-year-old young pastor who hates “funeral churches.” (A funeral church is when the majority of the congregation is 50 and older.) Scott went to Lincoln University and recently completed her seminary at George Washington University. She’s also a millennial who worries and plans her every moment in life.
Scott spoke to the crowd about the typical college student’s worries. According to her, a vast majority of college students worry to a point that some make themselves physically sick. College students also keep themselves too busy for their own good.”
Instantly, my mind was alarmed. I grew up in church and I know every message isn’t for every person, but there’s something about her words that just didn’t sit right with me.
When she began speaking, she started listing her life accomplishments, including where she went to school, her GPA and her first-generation college achievements. At first, I thought it was boastful, but then she went on to explain how college and life in general trains you to only talk — she called this performing.
Scott told us that driving into Drexel, within just two blocks, she saw 16 banners emblazoned with the famous Drexel slogan “Ambition can’t wait.” She instantly thought about the amount of pressure that slogan places on the students. In that moment, I thought about it as well.
Now, I don’t know why that’s Drexel’s slogan. Administration itself gets so ambitious that they can’t even accommodate the number of students they keep accepting. I often wonder who they are trying to beat.
The slogan can add to to the students’ stress by adding more pressure to their already heavy workload. The pressure that not just Drexel, but other academic institutions, put on their students can be saddening.
It works like this: go to college, sustain a 3.0 or aim for the 4.0, graduate, go back to graduate school, continue to sustain that GPA, try your best to not get roped into a career that offers less than $30 thousand per year. I forgot to mention, make sure you’re in at least five clubs and on the administrative board for one. If you can fit a sport in there, you’re the whole package.
This left me thinking, is it bad that I don’t worry? Is it bad I went to a school that’s beyond ambitious and that many of the students are too? I sat there thinking, I never worried about what college I was going to get into. I applied to 12 because I wanted to see who would take me. I made it fun and what happened, happened.
I rarely worry about midterms and other random tests we get within our academic institution. Some students fail a test, see the Drexel slogan and assume there’s a flaw in their master life plan now, which is never the case.
Scott also reminded the crowd that worrying doesn’t stop after grades are put in. Once graduated, you now begin to worry about securing a job. Then you start to think about finding your spouse, starting a future family and learning how to maintain it all. You can’t forget to schedule time with friends, and hopefully God as well. The point is, it just gets worse.
Now, I commend those who take every step they make in their young life seriously. Being ambitious is a great thing, but don’t push it too hard. I say this because as soon as you’re done college, your life will just get busier and busier and you’ll forget to stop and take time for yourself.
At the end of the day, if you worry about things that won’t really shape who you are,that’s a problem. When you walk out of your next class at Drexel and see “Ambition Can’t Wait,” remember: it actually can.