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. This is true throughout each community, and it is true on the MSU Billings campus.
It is interesting to consider that a college education ends with a Commencement because to commence is not ending at all—but the beginning of something brand new. Albert Einstein 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 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. We learn in college 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 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 commencement. The purpose of education is 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