Letter to my Undergraduate Students

Guillermo Laich
30/09/2023 13:31



What you are to be you are now becoming. 


Education is a process that begins when you are born and later develops your intellectual capacity, manual skills, and social awareness, especially via personal experience and instruction by qualified others. In a more specific sense, your education concerns the process of acquiring literacy, numeracy, and a generally accepted body of knowledge at a predetermined educational institution.


A university is an educational institution of higher learning for those who have completed primary and secondary education. Being an institution of higher learning, it provides facilities for teaching, research, an is legally authorized to grant academic degrees. However, as an environment for learning, your home and parents are in many ways the most ideal time and place to learn.


Any university, depending on the personal and academic quality of its professors, as well as the experience and skill of the administrative staff, only offers its students potential yet extraordinary educational possibilities. It is you the student, and only you as a young critical and independent thinker, who must make the decision to the best of them. For that, you have to think deep and long on becoming a highly educated person, since what you are to be you are now becoming.


Universities are concerned, in the minds of many, with imparting some sort of ultimate wisdom and mental habits unknown to the commonality, initiating them towards mastery of life and successful professional development. Because of such, the outcome of your university years depends largely on you and what you make of them.


The entire process starts by researching the different universities in terms of their geographical location, their historical background, undergraduate and postgraduate educational programs, the quality of its professors, entrance requirements, and levels of individual and general student happiness. Most of all you must determine exactly what it is that you are interested in, and what level of graduate and/or postgraduate education you wish to achieve.


Your efficiency in reaching a desired goal is also increased when you take the time to answer first: what exactly am I trying to achieve? And only then ask: how is it possible for me to do it? Having asked yourself these two fundamental questions, try to look deeply into yourself and answer them in as much detail as you possibly can. These central questions, needless to say, involve your scale of intrinsic human values and you must answer them exclusively by and for yourself.


Going to a university anywhere in the world is an extremely complicated matter. Once you commence, you will have embarked on an entirely new voyage toward becoming an educated person. For that, you must accept full and complete responsibility for everything you say, write, and do, since nobody is capable of making such critical personal decisions for you.


Furthermore, nothing whatsoever is going to be handed to you without putting forth a strong and sustained effort. Because of such, you will have to apply many years of full-time dedication to achieve your educational and professional goals. As often happens in the world of academia, the longest and toughest road is always the best.


Any type or form of intellectual vagueness relative to your goals may cause you also to go astray and lose what you desire. So, keep in mind to be highly specific. Also, remember that the extraordinary fund of information and ideas that you learn from your professors represents a sophisticated set of tools for achieving future excellence.


The dreams you build and the life you lead sometimes differ by staggering amounts. With proper attitude and discipline, such a wide-scoping difference need not be. You can reduce the distance within that conceptual gap and build a life which accords more closely to your dreams. The key thing to remember is to always let truth be your guide.


I forward these humble opinions and recommendations to you in hopes that they may help you in doing just that and, most particularly, help you make the reality of your future university years approach more nearly the once-bright dream you had for them. Ignorance often limits our horizons because it prevents us from seeing what might be possible.


Finally, simply go out and meet the world. Try to discover as much as you can about everything and everyone you see and meet. Avoid self-imposed ostracisms and/or insulations between you and the many interesting aspect of life. Get involved and learn as much as you can about yourself and the world.


Every time you visit a different country or speak a new language you will learn a new and/or different way of living, thinking, and communicating. Such activities will make your life richer and more worth living. Most of all they will greatly increase your culture and understanding of humans and of life itself.


Each minute, hour, and day try to live with verve (vigor and spirit or enthusiasm), a wide-awake perceptiveness, and a sincere eagerness and enthusiasm to discover, learn, and grow. Sincerely strive towards doing something good for yourself and the world. Frankly speaking, no better way exists for avoiding later-life boredom, existential emptiness, and personal discontent. No route makes current years more deeply joyous and full of life.


Finally, remember that large amounts of diligent dedication and practice is required for you to develop clear thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I say this because as you chose a career and a university, you will be required to think with the outmost of clarity and honesty. You must do so because the consequences and full responsibility of your final decision rest exclusively with you.


I wish you success and happiness in your decisions and future life.

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