As University of Dallas students settle into a new semester, some look with eager anticipation at the Rome days to come, while others view the Rome semester as already merely another fond memory. Groundhog day and its accompanying festivities are around the corner, and classes have begun to ease into their semesterly course.
At first, students are given a wealth of free time, but that time is quickly swallowed by rugby, swing team, music lessons and a myriad of other extracurricular activities. Despite devoting time to these worthy pursuits, we should also remember the world outside the Bubble. It is tempting to use college as a respite from the outside world, and to insulate oneself from the problems that plague contemporary life. An awareness of the events of the outside world can be good, however, because it is in this way that the practical application of the UD education will be tested.
Though luckily we do not have war or famine to worry about in our native country, nevertheless there are important issues that touch far too many people’s lives every day. In cities across the United States this past weekend, crowds marched for human rights. On Saturday, Jan. 20, the Women’s March took place, which held additional weight this year as a reaction against many sexual assault perpetrators’ exploitive abuse of power. On Friday Jan. 19, protesters walked the March for Life, which objects to the injustice against the unborn that was permitted by the historic Roe V. Wade decision. While it can be a lot to ask a college student to be an active participant in these issues, we can still be aware, and at the very least lend prayers.
It is good to be here in school, and we are lucky to be here. But while we read, talk and live outside the constraints of common life, we should remember that we have come to study for the sake of bettering the common life of all.
Our education, besides exposing us to the beautiful literature and thought that our shared heritage offers, should help us in the future to navigate the contemporary world with prudence and judgement and to be citizens actively engaged in promoting the commonweal.
Though we should not forget the outside world, we are still in college, and do not need to be consumed by current events. Bur education is not solely for our own benefit. The gift of a good education also bears with it a responsibility to use whatever wisdom or knowledge we gain for the betterment of the outside world.