Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
There is a proverb in my native tongue of Gujarati that my parents always said to me: “Je bole tena bor vechay”. It means those who speak up-sell their fruit, and those who remain passive watch the world go by. I’ve lived by these words since the day I was old enough to recite the alphabet and tie my own shoelaces. Being an immigrant, I learned at an early age that to create change and foster success, you have to speak up and do something. In high school, I became fascinated with learning and developed my curiosity. Through challenging coursework and academic extracurriculars, I gained a wide knowledge base in various disciples.
Upon entering college, however, I realize that there is so much more to success than simply knowing because while knowledge is power, knowledge without action is futile. Anyone can memorize textbook definitions and take a test. Anyone can read a novel and write a paper on it. The challenge comes from being able to apply that knowledge to the larger world. While classroom education is undoubtedly beneficial, greater learning opportunities arise from being able to use what you have learned and apply it to the real world. Therefore, I hope that by the end of my college career, I can figure out how I can best make use of my education, skills, and abilities to confidently create an impact in the world and contribute to society in some way.
In this regard, the Jesuit values of educating the whole person and creating well-rounded students who contribute to the greater good really resonate with me, because I also believe in learning and applying through experience, not merely concepts. At SLU, I hope to achieve a not only deeper knowledge of various academic disciplines, but also greater problem-solving capabilities, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and the ability to create personal and social growth through community engagement and leadership. Regardless of the career, I choose to pursue, these qualities are essential to me becoming an active citizen of my community and promoting change in some shape or form. I want to participate in activities in which I can play an active role in applying my background and creating plans of action. I understand that it is not always easy to take action on everything you wish to change, but making small steps towards your goals will make applying your knowledge much easier.
In conclusion, it takes knowledge and action to foster change, and it would be a waste of resources if even after obtaining this education, I did not do anything with it. After all, personal development is essential to learning, reflecting, and realizing one’s own potential. Therefore, I hope that by the end of my college career, I can build enough confidence in myself and learn how to best use my abilities to make a difference in the world—whether that be through science, entrepreneurship, innovation, or social justice—and uphold my values.