Thank you, Stevie Wonder. I hope you’re all boogying away.
I’m not one to go spouting religious sentiments at people. I have my personal beliefs, but I’ve observed that unless someone wants to talk religion, it’s best not to go shoving it down the throats of people and be like BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE OR ELSE. Because that’s no way to go about making anyone convert. See: all the crazy people in Speaker’s Circle that everyone just makes fun of, like Brother Jed.
To be frank, I highly doubt Brother Jed has actually converted any college student that has graced the campus of Mizzou. But he has inspired bingo boards.
Anyhow. A little while ago, I started receiving “Gospels in a Year” where I get a Gospel a day. I didn’t sign up for this, but if I had to guess I would say my mom probably subscribed me. I would normally scan over them (I appreciate the daily reminder from them), but the other day I got one that really resonated with this class and all it entails.
If you spend more than 0.2 seconds with a 4804 student, you know they are not having a day at the beach (eh, eh, summer joke??). There’s a lot of anxiety and stress, and I swear if you walk into the Futures Lab you’ll see someone with a very furrowed brow.
So the Gospel I received was from Luke 12:22-34. It read “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. … And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? … And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind.”
Now clearly the parts about food and clothing don’t really relate to 4804, but I think regardless of whether you’re religious, the verse can have some meaning. It made me take a step back and think about the class and what it means. Yes, it’s generally a good thing to get good grades and do the best work possible, but in 30, 20, 10, or even 5 years will this class really matter? Probably not. Sure, the lessons you learn and the experiences will make any journalist, or even any person better, but when you die, nobody is going to care what your grade was in this class or how good your week three story was (unless it saved lives or something, then it’s pretty important, but that’s very unlikely).
Part of surviving any class that’s even remotely close to the intensity of 4804 is taking a step back, breathing, and remembering making yourself unnecessarily stressed or anxious won’t make anything better. If anything, it’ll make it worse. Obviously it’s nearly impossible to make it through the class without some stress or anxiety (if you made it through without a single new, grey hair, hit me up, please), but I think students really need to acknowledge what the class means to their life. Yes, good things like connections, memories, friends, knowledge, skills, life lessons, etc. can come from it – and the same with bad things – but in the span of your life 4804 is merely a small dent. Put forth a valiant effort and do your best, but it’s not worth killing yourself with stress and anxiety over. Few things in life are.