COLUMN: Oakland is full of life lessons — embrace them

By Postie Editors

As a senior, I can’t help but to reflect on my time spent here at Oakland University for the past four years —remembering the good times and the bad.

It occurred to me that at the end of all of this — in exchange for my time, money, stress and more money — I get a piece of paper saying I’m educated.

But really, the diploma is only half of what Oakland has taught me.

The things students, myself included, often complain about have taught me my most valuable life lessons outside of the classroom in ways completely unrelated to my degree.

I’ll begin with the most obvious — Oakland’s apparent love for all things aesthetic.

The new, extravagant Human Health Building is undeniably beautiful. It’s fully equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, and even has a bridge to trot over the man-made river.

Meanwhile, South Foundation Hall and Hannah Hall of Science are falling apart.

However, when new students are coming in to tour the campus, they wouldn’t know the conditions of the interior of South Foundation Hall or Hannah Hall of Science — they only see the beautiful Human Health Building.

They have no idea that parking at Oakland is more dreadful than a root canal — they notice the landscaping and will soon notice the gorgeous clock tower.

Oakland markets itself well.

Similarly, when going to a job interview, you must market yourself well. Only air the negatives on a need-to-know basis, which Oakland is teaching students by example.

Speaking of the parking situation, we have all experienced it and, consequently, have all become victims of it.

Believe it or not, this actually teaches students more than just how to prey on innocent bystanders trying to leave class — there’s a couple lessons. The world, much like the parking lots, is a competitive place, and people have to fight for what they want.

I live across the street and leave an hour early to find a parking spot — therefore, it also teaches time management. The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the parking spot.

Lastly, if you haven’t noticed by now, the sidewalks here take you anyplace except where you need to go.

It can be eight degrees outside, and I either have to walk on the sidewalk that takes me around campus and then to the Oakland Center, or I can cut across through a foot of snow.

Some people choose the easy way.

Now, whether the easy way is the cleared path that takes longer or the path with more harsh conditions that is quicker — that’s up to the person.

Some people think about which path to take, and some people just go.

The point is that you can debate about which path to take, but once you make a decision to go in the direction you choose, you will be able to get to the destination.

So the next time you are walking on the sidewalk in circles, looking up at the clock tower that will soon exist, remembering when you were able to park right where it stood, you should also remember these lessons, and there is always something you can learn from anything.

Kimberly Rooker is a senior studying health sciences at Oakland University. She is a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority-Delta Omega Chapter, and will be graduating from OU in Spring 2013.