Viewpoint: Make time for the road less travelled

Linda Nguyen
Staff Writer

For most students at Baylor, we have 126,227,704 seconds — or four years — in college.

Only 126,227,704 seconds to figure out exactly what we want to do and get the education so other people will let us do what we want to do.

That’s not very much time. We have to take X and Y and Z and ABCDEFG on top of that and that leaves very little time to really think about anything else.

But students really need to get out of their academic bubble. When I say academic bubble, I mean students taking the classes they need to take and only classes they need to take. Students only joining extracurricular activities because it will help them get to where they want to be whether it’s that amazing medical school, prestigious grad school, or that coveted entry level position.

When I tell people I’m a journalism minor, I get a lot of mixed reactions. Some people give me that condescending “you really don’t know what you’re doing” look. Other people are like, “Why would you do that? How does that help you get into medical school?”

But really do I need a reason?

College is a time for us as students to really explore our interests and find out what we really like.. Something that will define us apart from our career. How can we really know what we like until we try something else?

My friends tell me I’m crazy whenever I attempt to recite everything that I need to do in a week.

There are some weeks that I’m tempted to agree with them. But honestly every time I see a smile on a child’s face whenever we cook dinner for them at the Mission Waco Youth Center, every time I see a byline, every time I run a psychology participant study, I realize it’s all worth it. By the time I graduate, I’ll be able to think back and know that I really did cultivate all my interests.

As a premed student, I know that I want to be a doctor. And I know that exploring my other passions shouldn’t change that and if I realize it does and I love something more, well it’s a good thing I figured that out now instead of say three years and a hundred thousand dollars into medical school.

So really, join an extracurricular that’s not academic or career oriented. Do something different. Take up something new. If you’re a science student take a class in business or theology. If you’re a liberal arts student, take a biology class or psychology class that you find interesting, you never know where your interests really lie until you see what else is out there.

Yes by this time we have a lot less than 126,227,704 seconds, but every second we let pass by, is a second lost, so make the most of your time in college, and by the time you graduate be able to say that you truly know yourself.

Linda Nguyen is a senior neuroscience major from Missouri City. She is a staff writer for the Baylor Lariat.