Life skills reflected through school mission

Four years. It is complete, a success.

People will be sentimental about the upcoming graduation day, and to be honest, I may tear up a little after crossing the stage.

College has taught me the soft skills that are required to get by in the job market. I’m not saying that knowing how to pour a beer without spilling is an applicable trait to put on my resume, but there were other valuable attributes I gained in college.

Apparently, leadership skills are paramount. It doesn’t matter if you really haven’t been in charge of anything outside of playing Simon Says in kindergarten, you are a leader – the mission statement says so. By using words like proactive and paradigm, you can win over a crowd. Remember, either lead, follow or get out of the way.

Learning lines from movies and episodes of “Family Guy” are also well-honed skills mastered in college. Odds are, most people reading this article can recite the “rule of thumb” gag from “Boondock Saints” or the Petoria rap song from the second season of “Family Guy.”

In sports, coaches always describe the intangibles that somebody can provide a team. I’d like to think I will graduate without the ability to physically touch people, but I understand that metaphorically speaking an intangible is a trait that cannot be taught in the classroom. One such sacred intangible is empathy, and the understanding bestowed by the faculty has shown that skill.

After hearing the mission statement drilled into my skull at nearly every university function, I feel like there is some substance to the 17 words that this institution strives to uphold.

Ethics are one of those skills that are taught in the classroom, but practiced in the real world. Professors know how to push the boundaries of dilemmas and ethical quandaries, asking questions like, “Would you rather be eternally forgotten or hatefully remembered.”

Granted, no quote ever came in that direct form, but the underlying theme is still the same.

I have been challenged to think, challenged to act, challenged to be educated, challenged to be global and essentially challenged to be an all-around good guy.

Four years are finished. The next step in life is on the way. It is time to be a leader and responsible citizen in the global community, to quote that mission so eloquently.

I guess I did learn something in college.

Marcus Murphree is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Beaumont.