The Importance of Showing Up
By Dr. Waldemar Kowalski, Professor of Bible and Theology
That’s my advice for those joining the NU community. Here are some ways to show up, which will be very important in your life.
Show up for class! You know, better than anyone else does, what it’s costing you in terms of time, effort, and money to attend a school like Northwest. If you pay hard-earned cash to go to a movie or concert, how much of it are you planning to skip? Probably not a lot, unless you have an emergency that drags you away. I’m pretty sure that the skills and knowledge you’ll gain at university will be of a lot more enduring value than watching the latest installment of the Batman saga.
Show up IN class!
Another way to show up is to actually BE THERE in class. Yes, I know FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, and SMS are all pretty interesting, but they’re not going to help you pass the exam or help you gain the skills to be a great nurse, teacher, pastor, businessperson, etc. There are people sitting in the chairs in the classroom that haven’t really showed up – don’t be one of them! I know – some classes don’t turn your crank. Even so, that English teacher who taught you how to express yourself so that others pay attention to you will add something important to the rest of your life. Yes, the difference between there, their, and they’re makes a big difference in your resume, proposal, or sales pitch! You’ll think of them with gratitude when you land that dream job, just because you’ve distinguished yourself from the masses who don’t have a clue, don’t care, and don’t even know that they don’t know.
Show up where others are gathered!
Another significant way to show up is to be a part of the life of the university. Show up for Chapel, Pursuit, floor events, sporting events, drama productions, concerts, and other such events. Connect with others, show interest in them, and don’t form a little island of your own. Make time to sit with someone you don’t know (yet) in the Caf or the Aerie. You may feel lonely and disconnected, away from your family and familiar surroundings. Others feel the same way – show up for them, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly a whole lot of people (including you) no longer are lonely.
Show up for others!
Another way of showing up is making and keeping friends. Some of the best and most important connections for your future success will be made at college or university. There’s the professor who’s an ongoing mentor, someone you can call up and ask for advice. Possibly you’ll find that someone special who is willing to spend a lifetime with you. The friends who endured studying sessions, pizza runs, and all sorts of other parts of university life with you? You’ll keep on showing up at each other’s events, may form business teams together, network to help each other get jobs, and in all sorts of ways change reality together. So that’s my message: sometimes you just have to show up – it’s the start of something really vital which can’t happen if you’re not there. By the way, my colleagues and I are delighted that you’ve decided to show up, in the most basic sense, at Northwest. Thanks for choosing to study with us and develop skills here that will change many things in your life. Now, deciding to really show up will make the most profound impact you can imagine on the rest of your life.
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