A few years ago I conjured up a piece called, “Stuff Nobody Ever Told You about Going to College.” It started out as a speech before it became an article. I was asked to be the speaker at the induction ceremony of the latest group of local students into the National Honor Society – a group I wasn’t invited to join, I might add, when I was in high school.
Fortunately, the speech was so well received that I turned it into a feature article and also have used a portion of it for this very column. One of the points I made was that no matter how talented a student may be in high school, there are going to be other incoming college freshmen just as talented and some who are even more talented. What’s more, nobody’s going to care how talented or smart or hard- working a student is when he or she gets to campus. Nor are there trophies for doing things like simply going to class.
As I’ve been reflecting on the contents of the foregoing paragraph, I recall one of my own experiences that precisely illustrates the point about finding out there were many students who were way more talented than I was. When I was in high school back in the Middle Ages, I was a pretty good trumpet player. I really was! I played first chair for three years when our high school band was nearly 100 musicians in a school of only 500 or so students. By the time I was a senior, I was planning to go to IU and major in music and be in “The Marching Hundred.” Keep in mind that this was back in the day when being in the high school band was a cool thing to do – partly because the band was extraordinarily good. We went to contest every year and always won a first division or first place rating.