June 6, 2020

An open mind: soil waiting for plants to fill with diversity

This archived article was written by: Chris Barney

It’s hard to believe the 2013-14 academic school year is almost over. Students hold their breath as finals week approaches. The impending challenge of finals week looms in the back of our minds.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around completing school in Price. When I came here, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Although it took a while to embrace, the change that Price, ‘Merica has forced me to undergo was due to the perfect time, perfect place.
I decided to come to Price two weeks before the Fall 2013 semester. It was the best decision I’ve made in the last year. There are a lot of people, ideas and philosophies to which I could attribute the change that has taken place in my own life over the last eight months. However, at the root of it all remains an open mind.
I compare having an open mind to soil begging for plants to fill its empty space. The larger your garden, the more beautiful and diverse it can be. I thought my garden was big until I came to Price. After all, 22 years isn’t enough time to know much about anything, but the young students at Eastern might as well try to fill up the soft soil while they can.
So how can we go about filling our soil? Where do we begin? It may be surprising to note that, from my own experience, many students, old and young, are looking for a sense of purpose, far beyond that of filling graduation requirements. My mother told me once; “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” In the reality of things, it’s professional and academic references that will score the pay raises, the career jobs, the scholarships and entrances to graduate programs. No matter where you are in life, it pays to attend USU Eastern.
Walk up 300 East and climb to the top of “Wood Hill,” at sundown. If you look around you, the geography of Eastern Utah stretches on for miles. Wouldn’t it be a shame to leave opportunities like that unplanted in your soil? The colors are intensified as the sun nears the horizon. Similar things happen at the end of each chapter of our lives. Almost like the last 4 months of hard work and difficulties are being burned into our memories.
Price startled, humbled, taught and returned the love I started to develop. It is what you make it.

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