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Five tips for a successful college career

“Not all of us think that success means nothing more than winning a race to nowhere, but then what does a successful college career look like,” ponders R. J. Snell, director of the Center on the University and Intellectual Life at the Witherspoon Institute.

His advice, published here at Intellectual Takeout, includes the following:

1. Education is for your whole person for your whole life.

While it is true that aspects of the university are preparation for the next steps, too often students picture these years as an odd “time-out” from life … So, study, yes, and hard and well, but a life devoid of friendship, and virtue, and beauty, and religion, and health, and integrity is not a fully human life. …

2. Read good books with good professors.

… If you graduate and can count Plato, Aristotle, Dante, Austen, Augustine, and Moses as your friends, and are a student of those professors who count those same people as their friends, you’ll have succeeded.

3. Form broad and deep patterns of relationship.

… Commit yourself to people, and not just people who enjoy the same pastimes and entertainments; form abiding relationships with people, including those with whom you disagree. So long as they are also committed to things true, good, and beautiful, they’re worth knowing, and knowing for the rest of your life. …

4. Serve.

… You should try to spend time with the very young and the very old, but not where you receive from them but where you give. …

5. Think family.

You may or may not marry and have a family, but for most of us, family life is where we will live (or fail) human flourishing. …

Grades are good, internships are good, publications are good, GRE scores are good, but these are merely instruments of life and not its point. The wise student, the successful student, will already seek the point of life and live it well, not in some hazy future, but now and already.

Read the entire piece at Intellectual Takeout.

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