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The Gatepost Editorial: Making the most of your education

By The Gatepost Editorial Board

As we finish the eighth week of the semester, the half-way point of the term has come and gone, and many students are feeling exhausted.

The stress of midterms, paired with the responsibility of preparing for academic advising and balancing extracurriculars and jobs, affects all of us.

And that stress can make it difficult to remember why we’re still in college at all.

But it’s important not to lose sight of why we are here - to learn.

And learning is about more than filling 32 credits, completing your major courses, and nothing further.

A full year at Framingham State University costs approximately $37,000 for a resident student without financial aid. That’s equivalent to a little over 2,466 hours of working a minimum-wage job. That’s a lot of money and a lot of time.

If it is going to be that expensive, why not make the most of your time here?

It is safe to say you only have one chance at the undergraduate experience and after you have graduated, you can't turn back the clock.

Being an undergraduate student provides an abundance of opportunities to broaden your intellectual and interpersonal horizons. After graduation, you will have to go out of your way to seek out those opportunities on your own.

College is not just about getting the piece of paper when you walk across the stage after four or five years.

This is a time to develop critical thinking skills, develop relationships, challenge yourself, and explore studies in areas you may never have the chance to learn about outside of a college environment.

This is critical to remember as academic advising begins this week.

When you have your meeting with your academic advisor, remember to advocate for yourself.

Your advisor is there to help you, but their word isn’t the bottom line. If there’s something you want to study, you should deeply consider pursuing it - even if it means changing majors.

There are reasons not to take a specific course - conflicts with a required course in your major, or the potential damage it could do to your four-year plan. But most majors leave room for a few free elective courses, and those courses are your chance to branch out.

Take this opportunity to have another class with your favorite professor.

Take this opportunity to expand your horizons beyond your major.

Take this opportunity to learn something you otherwise would not be able to during college.

Open electives and gen-eds contribute to your education just as much as your major department courses do.

Gen-eds are named that for a reason. They’re general knowledge - something important to a student of any kind.

So take that class in photography, creative writing, or apparel construction you’ve always been interested in next time you have room for a fourth course.

Earn a minor alongside your major degree if it fits into your schedule. It only takes five courses, and who knows? You might already have general education credits that can count toward it.

Take advantage of all of Framingham State’s academic offerings.

After all, the decision of what courses to take is up to you.

Your advisor can guide you but if you want to try something new, advocate for yourself.

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