As students, we often turn towards the best and brightest for wisdom and guidance. This is especially true when spring arrives and current students tackle exams and prospective students begin to consider what university will hold in store for them next September. This year we searched far and wide across the campus to find the perfect student to bestow a few words of wisdom onto you: Socrates.
For anyone who attends Nipissing, or frequents this blog, you will know that a certain philosophy student has taken it upon herself to pursue the Socratic path, the unofficial gadfly of the university.
We found Socrates in the library last week tweeting “what is justice?” to the Republican Party.
Socrates, what are your current areas of intellectual pursuit?
Not Walmart. Political science and philosophy with minors in history and sociology. Questioning justice, courage, love, and philosophy.
What words of advice do you have for prospective students that will help them succeed academically?
I cannot teach anyone anything. I only know that I know nothing. The only thing I can do is make them think.
But remember this: Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. Question everything. Employ your time in improving yourself by other’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.
*The key to success in your education is having a genuine interest in your field of study. Be curious and passionate. Ask questions and actively search for their answers. Devote your time to reading and research and you will succeed.
Why is education important? Why do university students have a social responsibility to the be the gadfly of the state?
The unexamined life is not worth living. There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance. Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. I know you won’t believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others.
* The quest for knowledge brings fulfilment in life. For progress and transformation to be achieved in this world, students must think critically and question the actions of themselves and others. It is through this continuous process of dialectics that Human Excellence may one day be achieved.
How can students find success outside of the classroom?
Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant. Sometimes you put walls up, not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down. The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. To find yourself, think yourself.
*Seek to make genuine friendships. Do not put up walls to test those around you, rather, open yourself up to others. It comes with inherent risk, but also has the potential to form lasting relationships. Happiness does not come from consumption, whether that be material or emotional; focus on the present moment and find peace and happiness in having less. Most importantly, be true to yourself.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us today, Socrates.
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better, only God knows.