By: Cory William Berlekamp
Being a student in higher education is hard. Every week is filled with a constant barrage of information that we will be tested on while juggling a personal and work life at the same time that we are growing into an adult. It is finally our turn to step up to the starting gate and prepare ourselves for the rat race.
To help us through this time, we have our parents, friends, advisors, and most importantly, our professors. They are the experts in the fields that we have selected to study and are there to guide us through a not-so-surprisingly trying time.
Since I am an untraditional student and catching up to 30 faster than I would like, this existential crisis is behind me. But that does not mean I do not remember what it was like to pretend to know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have already changed my profession three times and now I am back in school. However, the people who helped me get to where I am today have been my professors, the experts.
Originally, I went to school for music education until Professor Chibucos made me realize teaching children music would ruin my passion for music. To be able to teach children music takes a level of patience that I just do not have, and she helped me recognize that. I changed my major three more times before I fell in love with history and that was because of Professor Culbertson. He was supportive and understanding in his lecture heavy class. He was a tough, but fair, grader, and if you decided to skip class, you would not be happy when it came test time.
Eventually I received my associate’s degree in history concentration and after a few years of wasting away cooking in kitchens, I came back to the University of Findlay to get my bachelor’s in journalism. Doing this all over again has been interesting, but also challenging. This time through though, I know that I have the support of my professors and advisors. They want to see me succeed because that means they were successful in teaching me.
But that is the point, it was not just one department or one professor that helped me through the challenges of higher education, finding myself, and trying to make ends meet while doing it. A university is a community of people, and they should want all of their students to succeed no matter what their major is.
Professors should expect us to make mistakes, to be unsure of ourselves. We are just testing the waters and figuring out what works for us, and what does not. As a writer for the Pulse, I have come across this more than once: some professors do not want to be interviewed because of a misquote a writer put in a piece, or a mistake an editor did not catch. Being misquoted is understandably off-putting, but, once again, it is a student-run and student-written paper. We are all learning in our profession; just like a pharmacy student making medication in the lab or an equestrian student learning to properly ride and care for his or her horse.
Journalism students should not be stonewalled or brushed off when they make mistakes, but be shown what they did wrong and given another chance; just as it would be for any other major. By doing that, professors can build an even stronger community on campus that helps bring all walks of life together. Support them, and you support their future and our University’s future.