Springtime means a great deal to many— whether you are ready to spend more time outdoors and recover from the wintertime blues, or you are gearing up to graduate, there is renewed energy and plenty to look forward to. I think this is true throughout each community, and it is definitely true on the MSU Billings campus.
It is interesting to consider that a college education ends with a Commencement, because to commence is not at ending at all—but the beginning of something brand new. It was Albert Einstein who observed that, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
Hopefully as alumni, we all walked out of college and into a world that revealed how little we really know. It is a misconception that a college degree arms us for absolutely everything that a career or the harsh “real world” might present. Education is a lifelong commitment to growth and progress within ourselves. What we learn in college is beyond in-text citations and mathematical formulas; we learn how to ask questions, think critically, and accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.
Each time a new class begins their lives beyond college, I try to remember what that felt like for me. It was an accomplishment, sure, but it was also an intimidating reality to suddenly realize that all I really accomplished was the lesson. The test had yet to begin.
I try to continue challenging myself each day that I move further away from my own commencement. The purpose of an education it to prepare us to be lifelong learners. As soon as we forget that, it is time to renew our ambition for knowledge and remember that whether we are just receiving that degree or are decades beyond it, we owe it to ourselves to be a product of constant curiosity, growth, thought, and evolution.
Congratulations to all the new alumni who will be joining our community, and congratulations to every one of you who is still committed to your lifelong education.
Enjoy this wonderful new season!
Hannah G. Olson