Make It Matter

by Olivia Miller

The common read book for K-State this year is “The Other Wes Moore,” a book that outlines the lives of two men of the same name, growing up in the same city, but due to different choices and circumstances, lead two very different lives. The author Wes goes to military school, finishes college as a Rhodes Scholar and serves our country. The other Wes gets involved with drugs, drops out of school and is now serving a life-long sentence for murder. Not only does the book stress the importance of our life decisions, but also the fact that each Wes could have lived the other life – “it’s about all of us. It’s about the decisions that we make in our lives and the people who help us make those decisions.”

This past week the author visited our campus and led a discussion about the book, but also the importance of one’s higher education. Mr. Moore ended his lecture with the following question, “Who will you stand for? Whose life will matter to you when it doesn’t need to? That’s what your higher education is supposed to mean.” Mr. Moore’s lecture was one that had me shaking my head in agreement, with goose bumps and multiple quotes to add to my journal. One that stood out was what Mr. Moore’s commanding officer from military school told his class, “Make it matter that you were even here.”

In student affairs I like to believe that we make it matter, even if people outside of our profession or our students do not understand or acknowledge it. While our students might not understand or appreciate the advising meetings, the endless programs or their RA, they should understand that the relationships and memories they create matter – these and other moments in college matter in creating the adult they are meant to become. College students typically are not concerned with making things matter, or thinking about the life they will leave behind, but we can at least get them thinking about it.

As the week begins, what will you do to make it matter that you were even here, at your campus? Reflect on the life decisions you made to get you were you are today, as well as the people who helped you get there. Then remember, that it does matter that you are here.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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