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‘College education is hard work’

–Atty. Facia Harris cautions freshmen at AMEU

Liberian journalist and lawyer Atty. Facia Harris has challenged freshman students at the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU) to brace for challenges in their academic sojourn, warning that college education is hard work.

Speaking recently at AMEU’s 23rd Matriculation Program, Atty. Harris explained that college education involves the rigor of doing research and preparing assignment papers for hours. 

“It will take you deep into the heart of the night studying for midterms. And it may isolate you from social activities such as watching football games or season movies, just to complete schoolwork,” she said.

Addressing the students on the topic: “Success: A Journal of Integrity and Hard Work,” International Women of Courage Awardee (2022) Atty. Harris noted that the journey that the students have begun lasts four years. 

But she said it is not a linear or straightforward four years, adding that it is not a four-year measure only in a time. 

“It will comprise a mixed bag of experiences that you will encounter in the classroom setting; in the campus life context; in student and student relationship situations; and in student-lecturers friendship interactions,” she said.

She said obviously, the mixed bag of experiences ought to enrich students’ lives and equip them with the much-needed mental, social, physical, psychosocial, and other forms of development. 

“In remote cases, some of these experiences may leave you with scars. For example, an instructor may require you to repeat a course or may seem too complex and difficult to deal with,” Atty. Harris cautioned the students. 

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“Or friends may socially isolate you or you may suffer [an] identity crisis in a university where it is hard to achieve unity in diversity of varied identities,” she continued. 

In some other cases, she said, conflicting demands will mean working to make ends meet and striving to pay your school fees at the same time. 

“If any of these situations leave a scar on you, turn your scar into [a] star!” said Atty. Harris.

“Let me warn you that college education is hard work. It involves the rigor of doing research and preparing assignment papers for hours,” she noted. 

She warned that students who will avoid the demands of coursework because they hate hard work are at high risk of engaging in academic crimes such as spying, plagiarism or just copying materials from the internet and pasting them to prepare assignments. 

But she also told the students that if they succeed in doing these until they graduate, they will fail in many work environments that are fast-paced, results-driven, and full of competing demands. 

“You will have a job, but you will not perform. Sometimes, it is easy to pass in college but difficult to succeed in life not because [the] college did not prepare us but because we detour work, we consider [it] awful and stressful,” Atty. Harris cautioned. 

She encouraged the students to work hard towards their success, saying some academic work will surely break them, but in the end, they will make the students.

Additionally, she said to succeed requires integrity. According to Atty. Harris, integrity has become a buzzword or a cliché in Liberia. 

Yet, she said, it is hardly lived in practice. She said the word integrity comes from the Latin adjective integer which means whole or complete. 

“I, therefore, believe, ending your four-year journey and obtaining a degree without integrity makes you an incomplete and an unwholesome college graduate,” she warned. 

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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