After four years of working for the Optimist and sleeping through classes, and it is time for me to write my last Optimist column and graduate.
ACU has been good to me. I’ve learned a lot in classes and even more working for the Optimist. Faculty members have let me barge into their offices with inane questions and have invited me into their families.
But, for the most part, I have managed to slide through this university quietly, and I will leave with a handful lifelong friends and a degree. That sounds like a good deal to me.
The idea of this being my last column – last anything – for the Optimist is a kind of heavy thought. It seems like it should be a profound or new take on life. But profound really isn’t my style, so I’m just going to tell you what I learned until this column reaches 400 words then stop. That’s quality.
– Fake it til you make it
The most important skill in life is to be able to make it up as you go. This should come between godliness and cleanliness in the realm of made up Bible verses. In my experience, whether it is an idea you have or a skill you’re developing, people are more willing to take the time to help someone who is already trying to figure it out than to teach her how to do something or tell her the answer. And you look really smart if happen to get it right on the first try.
– Shared ideas are better
Everybody approaches a problem differently. Experiences and priorities shape each person’s view of any situation they are presented with. And a team of people building on each other’s ideas will come up with a better solution than one person alone. Sharing the credit is worth it.
The Optimist is one big mess of shared, often half-baked ideas. The ideas are half-baked because we’re a bunch of over committed college kids, and they are shared because it makes them better. We like to call it convergence.
– Be able to take criticism
Nobody’s project is perfect, and the more you like it the more work it needs. I promise.
And at the end of the day if you can’t make it good make it big. If you can’t make it big make it red. That advice is from a famous designer – not me. So you should actually take it.
– Don’t take yourself too seriously
You aren’t that important. Help people out when they ask even if it is something that seems below you. You never know what you’ll learn or when you will need something from them.
Anyway. I’m going to go graduate now. Have fun.