What students can do to get the most out of being at UK

By Gary Hermann

I wrote a column last week regarding what we can look for as UK students this school year. After it was published and I received feedback, the column appeared to serve more as a snarky underachievers guide to surviving the university.

This week I will take a different approach and offer what can serve as the overachievers guide to getting your money’s worth at UK.

My view was narrow-minded, assuming that most students are slackers looking for a way to breeze through college. I hold myself to a higher standard than that and should not have assumed less of my readers.

While going to class is important, that is just the beginning of academic success.

If all you do at UK is go to class, or skip class and read the textbook, you are depriving yourself of so many great experiences, not to mention robbing the people paying for you to go here, if it’s someone other than yourself.

One of my professors pointed out that I left out the value of getting to know your professors. That is very important to a student’s success.

For freshmen, know that your professors are very different from your high-school teachers. The main difference is that professors are not the authority figures that high-school teachers often must become to keep order.

No professor will write you a detention slip. You may have dreaded the principal’s office in high school, but you should feel welcome in all of your professors’ offices.

So if you have an ingrained fear of educators after years of private-school education, now is the time to move past it.

I truly value the friendships that I have developed with my instructors. They will serve as guides on your journey rather than obstacles to your graduation.

I also must apologize for my narrow-minded view of the UK football team.

I am not apologizing because it won its game over the weekend or because the players are huge and can easily beat me up.

I am sorry that while urging students to go to last weekend’s football game, I actually contributed to the culture of negativity on campus regarding football.

It is not enough to just go to the tailgate parties or view the games as social events. If UK has to play in a half-empty stadium in front of disinterested fans, its play will likely reflect that.

UK’s players have put in a great deal of work and I hope that will be reflected by their results on the field.

Pessimistic views come with the territory when you are a junior, and sometime around finals week my pessimism will likely shine through again.

When you are an upperclassman, it’s easy to forget you were once a freshmen, too. And since I no longer see freshmen with their student IDs around their necks, I can tell you’ve already come a long way.

Lastly, I value everyone’s responses to last week’s column that inspired this week’s column. It’s good to know you’re reading.

Gary Hermann is the Kernel’s opinions editor. Email ghermann@kykernel.com.