As I have read the epigraph several times, it has me thinking about the several ways that I have taken risks as a student, as well as how I have received many rewards for taking these risks. As well, it has also helped me create many goals for myself both academically and personally. Some of those goals include writing much more maturely, thinking and writing, both intentionally and analytically. Some more of my goals also include becoming comfortable with people who are strangers to me being able to read and comment on my work once it is published and achieve some of the goals that are very common among college students.
One way that I interpreted the epigraph is that one must take risks, especially during the significant transition period between being a teenager and an adult. I was able to come to this conclusion from part of the epigraph stating, “… if these are adult things, accept the risk.” This epigraph is being presented to the class as a way to help set the tone for the course, as well as get me thinking about how I must view the partnerships I have as something that can have amazing results. However, if I want the results from the partnership, I must be willing to take several risks. To me, the epigraph means that as I grow up, I have to take on more responsibilities to be considered an adult; however, as I take on those responsibilities, it comes with the risks of me not being prepared or mature enough to handle those responsibilities. However, as we discussed in class, one can not be fully considered an adult by the United States government, due to the laws and policies in place, which have placed somewhat of a strict chronological lineage of when we are fully considered an adult. The lineage was put clearly in front of us in class on the twenty-seventh when we were discussing the different responsibilities one gains as one gets older. The expected responsibilities then give us goals to pursue for us to receive these responsibilities, such as being able to vote at the age of 18. The lineage also has me wanting to set goals to have a job and begin paying off medical school debt by the time I am 30.
Having a strict chronological lineage put in place by the government also affects my personal lineage of goals that I create for myself as I assume more responsibilities. I feel that this is mainly due to how I was raised. I was raised in a dual-cultural household. My cultures are Puerto Rican and Portuguese, which play a massive part in my belief system, as well as play into my thinking, morals, and goals. From the age of five, I had the goal of being the first in my family to go to college, as well as pursue education beyond college. I feel that is because, from that young age, it was always put on me that I will be the first one to do what my parents couldn’t and didn’t need to do.
When one views the epigraph from an academic perspective, it makes one think critically about how they take risks by putting trust in the institution they are attending. This point was brought up by Shaw when she stated that one takes risks by attending college when they don’t even know that the future job they will have will also require a college education. I feel that this point was brought up in class since society expects us to go to college since many jobs on the job market do need a college education; however, not every career requires a college education. As well as putting trust into college institutions, students put faith into their professors to teach them the material, even in a class size upwards of 100 students. This point was brought up by Dr. McCoy when the class was talking about how some professors use their ability to control grades to pressure students to complete tasks that can be quite daunting. This part of the syllabus also has me thinking about how a professor is expected to split up their time when it comes to their job. Including this in the outline of the course, is a risk in itself since it can not only seem like a lot for the professor, but it can seem incredibly daunting for the student, which causes them not to ask for help on something, in fear that it is bothering the professor.
Due to the different perspectives I have been able to apply to the epigraph, it has allowed me to think critically about what I want to achieve and gain from this course. One of my goals for this class is to be able to write much more maturely, as well as be able to express some emotions in my writing. I feel that this course would help me with that since the syllabus states that “…get to thinkING about structure and why you are making those choices,…making things more complex and unique.” This quote was more directed towards when I am doing my essay rewrites; however, I feel that I can think about the structure and why I am structuring my essay how I am from the very beginning. I also believe that because we will be putting our work out into the public, it will help me think much more intentionally and analytically, which is something I want to achieve.
Another of my goals is to be able to become comfortable with sharing my work publically. Some may say this a bit ridiculous since, on social media, many share their lives on there. This situation then poses the question of what is so different from writing and sharing your experience. To me, people choose what they put on social media and only want to highlight certain parts of their lives, whereas, in writing, you can become vulnerable without realizing it. Also, for me, I am risking putting my work out in public and having many people feel and believe that my essay is subpar. However, I think that I must become more comfortable in this aspect since I aspire to be a doctor, and I would like to publish research. This could propose a risk in the future however, since my past writings and past beliefs, which could have changed, could be used against me to debate my current views and negate the research I performed.
Some of the goals I hope to achieve in college, in general, are pretty common ones, which I believe most college students wish to achieve. Some of these goals include making the president’s list, becoming much more independent, and being able to pursue what you want to do after college. I feel that these are goals for most college students, since it is expected of them in today’s age and time. To many, college is a rite of passage of being a child who is dependent on their family, to becoming an adult who can support themselves, and eventually their own families in the future. However, there is a risk since society expects this from college students, since it puts more pressure on them, especially since they are already under a large amount of pressure on students to do well in all of their courses, from their professors, families, friends, and themselves.
One must also think of those who didn’t pursue college or don’t want to go to college. I think of that population since they are then viewed by society as lazy, not put together, or that they can’t contribute anything to the community. To that, I say it is ridiculous that our society can disregard those people just because they didn’t do what is expected of them. I believe it is absurd since some people have their plans that don’t involve college, want to save up money for college so that they don’t have debt when they graduate, or they already have a job that they feel secure in that doesn’t require a college degree. I feel personally that those who don’t attend university can be as or more successful than those who did go to college.
The epigraph made me think about my goals, responsibilities, and the risks one must take to achieve those goals. I feel that it is only fair that this epigraph should be shared with many since it helps put everything in perspective as one takes on more responsibilities.