I’m not going to lie–sometimes being at a university can be a big headache. This can be especially true when you make it a point to be very involved in your program, college or the university as a whole. A college or university often works a lot like a governmental body. Deals get made in the shadows. Money can be focused on over people. Decisions are made with seemingly no logical reason. It’s true. It all happens.
However, then you realize that underneath all the–excuse me for my language–crap, there are amazing people who are doing important things for you and others. I’ve found this to be true at Michigan State and I’m sure others have found it in their own schools. A teacher who steps to the front of the classroom and proclaims they’re here because they love to teach. An advisor who spends time figuring out a problem for you, even though they don’t have to. A friend who will listen to you complain for hours about a class, just so you’ll listen when they have to take the same course. It’s true. It all happens.
I love to tell people that East Lansing is home for me. Agriculture has turned it into home.
Being a part of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is an interesting experience. Many of the students, faculty and administrators have known each other for years–even before they became Spartans. We work on the same projects, have the same interests and do a lot of the same things in our spare time. This can lead to some of the frustrations mentioned earlier. It also adds some new dynamics that people in the College of Education or Arts and Humanities don’t have to deal with. Because we are so strong and so similar in our passions, we often know each others’ business and delve into each others’ problems. It can be a lot like high school, if you think about it!
At the end of the day, though, beyond all these annoyances and frustrations, being a part of CANR means that I walked into a ready-made family in 2006 and that family continues to grow stronger every day. We like the same things, so we work hard together to make agriculture stronger. We have great conversations that everyone can understand and sympathize with. We have a support network when one or a group of us is targeted. It is truly a family atmosphere.
As I head into my last year at MSU, I think about all the frustrations I’ve felt and all the challenges I’ve dealt with. I also think about the wonderful friends I’ve made that will be a part of my life for many years to come. Agriculture makes both those frustrations and that family possible.