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Are Cairn Students Entitled?

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It is so much easier to notice the things in need of improvement than it is to acknowledge the good things in life. Specifically, I have been thinking a lot about Cairn lately.

 

The number of times I have opened my mouth and uttered complaints about the weird smell in the commuter lounge, the amount of homework a certain professor gives, another student who will not stop talking in class, or when someone steals my parking spot would be too large to count.

 

Entitlement is a word that is thrown around a lot in today’s millennial culture and has developed an overly negative connotation. But I think there is a level to which entitlement is fair and valid. As a student of a university, I should have certain privileges afforded me. I should feel safe, educated, and valued. If one of these areas is not being met by my university, I believe I should gracefully confront a superior and ask for change. But in reality, rarely are my complaints ever about something which violates one of these categories. Entitlement becomes a problem when we allow ourselves to expect certain privileges we should not be expecting.

 

I don’t want to be a stereotypical entitled millennial.

 

So let me just take a couple minutes and produce a thankful attitude towards my university.

 

First of all, it is really cool how approachable our school leaders are. About once a month, the president of our university takes the time out of his schedule to offer a chance for students to come have a cup of coffee with him and bring up issues that may be bothering us. He listens to questions about the world in general, including current events and the Christian life, but he also listens to specific concerns that arise regarding Cairn life. I doubt any other university presidents are so intentional in making themselves available to the student body on such a personal level. Basically, Dr. Williams is awesome.

 

Other than our president, I think our Dean of Students, our Director of Resident Life, our Academic Resource Center administrator, and all of our professors, just to name a few, have never neglected to remain approachable to students. I love that were something to ever arise as an issue on campus, so many of my superiors would care and want to help implement change.

 

We are provided with security coverage all year round and have remained one of the safest universities in the country. The cafeteria is always open when school is in session, so we will always have something to eat. We have a library that we can access nearly at all times, sufficient for our homework needs. There is an exercise room where we can fight off those college pounds.

 

Personally, I’m very thankful for Oasis. I think it’s amazing that Cairn offers free counseling to its students. I don’t shy away from sharing that I use this service and that I think every student should take advantage of the opportunity to be invested in by Christian counselors.

 

And of course, for a shameless plug for The Scroll, I’m thankful we have a public place available to the student body for us to be able to share our words. I love reading the many op-eds that we post and hearing the thoughts and experiences of some of our Cairn students.

 

I can feed my Amazon addiction and have things mailed to me on campus. I can eat snacks endlessly from our vending machines. I can sit on a bench by the pond and reminisce about the Cairn pet duck we used to have, or search for the mythical alligator that once infested our pond.

 

Our campus is truly amazing, and we are provided with so many wonderful opportunities here.

 

Rather than complaining about a gala with dancing, I can be thankful that we have opportunities to be involved on campus. Rather than complaining about my syllabi being changed last minute, I can be thankful that my professors care about each student individually. Rather than complaining about the poor lighting in the commuter lounge, I can be thankful that I always have somewhere safe to go while I’m on campus.

 

I need to be more intentional to be thankful for my years at Cairn and notice all the things about my campus worthy of praise. Complaining is easy but gets me nowhere. Changing my outlook and focusing on the positive aspects of my life as a student will be infinitely more rewarding, and ultimately, I believe will better glorify God.

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