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May 1, 2019

School's out...but not really

May 1, 2019

It’s cap-throwing time again, Spartans. Yep, it’s that time of year when the lines are long for photo ops around The Spartan and green gowns are the trendiest outfits in town. This weekend, almost 8,000 graduates will participate in commencement ceremonies on campus.

I’m sure most of them will be thrilled that school is over and they’re moving on to the next exciting chapters of their lives. And while classes, exams and papers might be finished for most of them, true learning never really stops.

I graduated a really long time ago, but I pride myself on being a student of the world every single day. If I don’t learn something new or challenge myself, well, that’s a wasted day. It could be something useful, like a new recipe or workout routine. Or maybe something more trivial like a fun fact or interesting tidbit about the world. Or, like last week, I might actually sit in lecture halls and learn a ton of new things about my profession and ways to improve my work. No matter where you go or what you do, there is always room for learning. I hope this new group of Spartan alumni will remember that as they head out into the world to make a difference.

I have a feeling they probably will do just fine. Spartan grads go forth with determination, innovation, knowledge, experience and a strong will to change the world. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Go Green. Go White. Go Forth. to read about the thoughts and plans of some of MSU’s Homecoming Court who will graduate this weekend.

You’ll find some great words of wisdom there, like this thought from Katie Frayer: “Historically, Spartans cherished their shield over their sword because that is how they could protect those around them. On campus, I have seen people do the same, and I have learned to do the same. It is great to defend oneself, but it is far more valuable to defend those around you. That is when we make a lasting impact.”

Yep. I’m pretty sure this group of alumni will make all of us proud to be Spartans. I’m also pretty sure they’ll be lifelong learners.  

Ruth Castro is another student who will graduate this weekend. She’s earned a degree from MSU's Strategic Communication Online Master's Program. She’s juggled her learning while being a mom, wife and soldier in the U.S. Army stationed in Puerto Rico during some devastating hurricanes. Even with all her other responsibilities, she knew that she wanted more learning in her life. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Resilience, to learn more about this remarkable Spartan.

Karl Gude, the director of the Media Sandbox, is kind of like the king of creativity in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. He teaches classes on creative thinking — I’ve been lucky to hear him speak and definitely learned a lot that day. He’s got some fantastic advice for graduating students like not stressing about “dream jobs” or taking a single path in life. He also has advice for parents about letting their kids fly solo. Check out his FACULTY VOICE: Guide to success, to read more about his thoughts.

I might not be taking a class or earning grades right now, but I love learning the things I do just reading stories about what other Spartans are doing and thinking. I’m pretty sure being a Spartan means having a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning. Spartans don’t rest on their laurels (or their degrees) but charge through life learning more about the world around us and how to make it better. No matter your stage in life, never ever stop learning. Knowledge is power. Grab yours and use it wisely. #SpartansWill.

Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Brandon Megali (@brandonmegaliphoto on Instagram)


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