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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Opinion

UH is what you make it


Attending the University of Houston will not make a student successful nor unsuccessful. |File Photo/The Cougar

Without doubt, different universities have specific strengths and weaknesses, slightly influenced by the city the university resides in or is next to. But goals should not be halted based on events outside of your control, such as the university you were accepted into. It is what you make of the opportunities your university has to offer that allows you to reach these goals.

Building a small community of friends is important in obtaining an atmosphere or community to foster necessary growth. Studies show that creating an appropriate support system of friends is crucial to success and health. Moreover, another study shows a 50 percent increase in likelihood of survival from illnesses for participants with stronger relationships, evidencing the effect of friends on health and well-being.  

Another endeavor to improve your college experience is in taking an interdisciplinary approach to the desired field of study. Even though a variety of majors and minors are offered, only some majors allow students freedom to choose a minor, and some majors have a minor built into the prescribed course load.

Chemist Willard Libby, who won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radiocarbon dating, applied his findings in chemistry to the discipline of archaeology. Students need the chance to take the interdisciplinary approach to build their own perspective and well-rounded learning like Libby did.  

Large public universities like UH can provide this approach because there are over 200 minors and majors offered at UH, where students can also mix and match.

This approach allows students to be creative. It is breaking barriers that have stood in front of students for some time. An interdisciplinary approach can be merging two fields, such as psychology and architecture, to influence the world in new ways. It can also be adding a new sector of one field into another, such as adding the psychology of building design as a sector of architecture. There are limitless ways to mix and match, which in turn constructs a student body with greater potential to make their mark on their chosen field.   

A benefit of a large university students can take advantage of is the many events and organizations present due to uniting many different backgrounds, as is the case here at UH. Diversity propels innovation through the sharing of ideas and not being afraid to share ideas. Therefore, another advantage of attending a large university like UH is having a cultural hub to exchange ideas and perspectives to become more innovative in a field of study.

Higher education is for intellectual and personal growth to reach and surpass long-term goals, and the university you attend is a factor, not the dominant force. UH has all the resources for students to succeed. They just need to recognize and take advantage of them.

Opinion editor Maryam Baldawi is a biology junior and can be reached at [email protected]

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