By Michael Freeman, Managing Editor
I hated my experience at ACU.
But not in the way you may have immediately assumed.
Sure, I grew to loathe several facets of ACU life during my four years here.like 8 a.m. classes, dorm visitation rules, pompous attitudes from social club members, curfews, required meal plans that cheated you out of your money, professors who made their own class attendance policies, the lack of school spirit and mandatory Chapel credits.
But I hated more the fact that I didn’t take full advantage of all the opportunities ACU offers. For example, I never seriously considered joining a social club, attended a Homecoming Musical performance, played in more than one intramural tournament, went on a Spring Break Campaign or even partook of the Midnight Breakfast in the “World Famous Bean” at the end of every semester.
The good outweighs the bad at ACU, and students should realize that and not shirk from the unique events and activities available on campus.
During my first two years, my nose was buried in either a textbook or my pillow. Studying, while it can boost your GPA, does not provide fun-filled nights with friends or new hands-on learning experiences.
Sleeping does not offer those either, but I refrain from speaking negatively about sleep because it is just about the best thing God ever created – other than bacon and Monday Night Football.
The older I got, the more I ventured away from my comfort zone. And while my grades slipped, my understanding of how the world works grew by leaps and bounds.
College is not about reaffirming what you think, but about learning how to think and discovering why you think the things you do.
The most compelling and powerful lesson I learned while at ACU did not come from a textbook. It came when a professor began her class not by going into a lecture, but asking students for their personal effects. She asked for iPods, watches, wallets – and the students happily handed over their expensive belongings, assuming she would use them in her lesson.
Instead, she collected her booty and tucked them away in her purse, saying “OK, these are mine now.” When the students tried to protest, she pointed out that they voluntarily gave her their possessions and not one student stopped to ask why she wanted them.
“Always question authority,” she said.
At the time, that was a new concept for me, and it turned out to be a valuable one the further I delved into my career as a journalist.
While I am not suggesting you take her advice, I am encouraging that you be open to new ideas. ACU provides many opportunities to challenge your mind while having fun at the same time. My biggest regret is not realizing that until my third year.
Don’t leave ACU with any regrets, and try to learn and experience as much as possible. You only have four (or maybe five) years to do it.