July 8, 2020
Do you ever think about something you did and think just because you’re not doing it anymore no one else is? It’s a silly phenomenon, and maybe it just happens to me, but it’s often hard for me to realize that other people still walk the halls in my high school. Or that someone else lives in my third-floor room of Campbell Hall or that kids still play games I played. It’s odd to think that the dreams I had about my future are being replayed in someone else’s head when they think about college or a career. But it’s true — life goes on behind us while we move forward.
I was reminded of that this past weekend when I was able to socially distance visit with my sister, her kids and her grandson. He’s at that adorable toddler age and super smart and chatty. He looks so much like my nephew, it’s uncanny. As I watched him play and talk up a storm, I realized while our lives are from different eras, he’s doing all the things I did — especially talking. Long after I’m gone, he’ll be playing superhero as an adult with some other toddler and listening to the chattering of a kid figuring things out. Life goes on.
These days it seems especially hard to think about life going on, but it will. It might look different, but we will continue on, adapting as we go. That’s really the only choice we have because none of us is giving up.
Recently, President Stanley sat down with the presidents of Dillard University and the University of Washington as part of a panel discussion about how COVID-19 will change higher education. As he says, “We’ll ask everyone to take greater personal responsibility” to create a safer environment on campus. We need to stay apart so we can stick together.
While we navigate this new reality, researchers all across campus and the world continue to move forward with their work. They’re examining the power of pop culture, utilizing NEON to illuminate biodiversity and using machine learning to study SARS-CoV-2. And, because we know life goes on behind us, Spartans are setting up the future by providing support for rising entrepreneurs.
I was a non-traditional college student who was a little older than most of my classmates when I returned to MSU after my husband served in the Air Force. I worked a full-time job and had to make a determined effort to graduate. It’s one of those instances in which I sometimes think I was unique. But I certainly wasn’t — not by a long shot. There are still thousands and thousands of students who got to MSU on a path that was far from direct.
Lawrence Stallworth, a recent advertising and public relations graduate, got to MSU after working as an autoworker. He says, “I wondered if, and how, I had missed the boat. Hemmed in by the pounding and hiss of giant machines, I spent my days operating heavy machinery and wondering how I could do something that actually played to my interests and talents…But one day, I realized I couldn’t keep my dreams on the back burner any longer.” Read his STUDENT VIEW: From full-time auto worker to graduate, to learn about his fortitude and Spartan journey.
Mark Largent, the associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of undergraduate studies, is committed to making sure those who come behind us have every opportunity we can offer. As he says, “Managing our daily lives, much less planning for the future, seems extraordinarily difficult right now.” But that’s not stopping him, or anyone else on campus, from working incredibly hard for students and future Spartans. Read his FACULTY VOICE: Look out for one another, to learn more about his work.
Life goes on. It’s a simple thought with complex meanings. The best we can do with the time we have is to make life better for someone else. To work today for better tomorrows, even if someone else besides ourselves will be living them. We have an opportunity to work together, to follow the rules, put on our face coverings, wash our hands and maintain distance so that actual life goes on for the majority of us. It might not be easy, and it will take a lot of cooperation, ingenuity and flexibility, but we’ve got this. We’re Spartans, after all. #Spartans Will.