Experiencing College Outside the Classroom

Andrew Gutman
Editor in Chief




Andrew Gutman
Andrew Gutman

It was 6 a.m. and time to register for my spring semester classes. As I opened my laptop, to begin, I could not believe that I had just begun registration for my final semester at Springfield College. I started to think back at all that I achieved, or didn’t achieve, and I wondered if I was satisfied with my college career.

I declared a major that I was passionate about, completed all of my courses, and then some… and I’ve had numerous internships. From an academic standpoint I was pleased. I’ve never been “good” at school, but I applied myself (most of the time), and did better than I had expected. Yet I still felt as though I was missing something. I went to class, took notes, and applied what I learned to my work, but that proved to not be enough.

College, however, is more than just your final GPA and awards. It is about the experience you gain. This is something that I wish I carried with me throughout my four years. Kids have the tendency to do the bare minimum and that works… but how is that helping you?

Over the summer when I was an intern for a magazine, I realized that while what we learn in the classroom is important and worthwhile – real life experience can only be taught in, well, real life. As I entered my temporary, fancy, New York office… reality kicked in when I realized that not everything I learned in the basement of Weiser would directly translate. In fact, it rarely did. There was a new lingo that I had to learn, pitch meetings that I sometimes embarrassed myself in… and even the rare celebrity interview. I had the tools, but I just had to learn to apply them.

Springfield College provides students with so many great opportunities. There’s NSO, LTC, a beautiful wellness facility, a library filled with books, and professors who are usually more than happy to sit down with you and chat. I’m not perfect, and I’m certainly not preaching. If anything I’m frustrated at the fact that it wasn’t until last year that I truly understood the importance of learning outside of the class room.

For me it all started in the gym. I entered Springfield as a combination of scrawny, and chubby… how I managed that I really don’t know. I decided to start lifting, and lift I did… the only problem was I had no clue where to start. So, I picked up some magazines and read some online articles. I applied what I knew and started to see minor results.

Early on in my junior year I got more serious. I started to read scientific literature, experiment with different diet methods… and even picked the brain of my roommate, an exercise science major. As the results got more intense so did my thirst for more knowledge. This thirst started to carry over into other facets of my life. I started to read more books, research more literature… and sometimes I even write for fun!

Personal growth is by far the most important growth one can achieve in college. There will always be people who are better than you, but what matters is how far you’ve come. College is the place to achieve that. From one college student to another: time flies, so take advantage of these resources when you still can, because that last 6 a.m. registration will be here before you know it.


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