Road Trip: Acorns and Starting Early


Last week after visiting Fairfield, I flew down to North Carolina to visit Elon University--another institution I had heard of but had never visited (and, it is often an answer in crosswords I solve). It is another beautiful campus: a historic campus that has been added to by stupendous modern buildings that I would be jealous of if I was attending another college. 

I didn't know that "elon" is Hebrew for "oak" until about halfway through my visit, so the references to oaks and acorns struck me as nice if not a bit random. However, the acorn and oak symbolism throughout campus makes a lot of sense, especially with how focused the institution is on encouraging students to think about their life after college from the very beginning. 


I participated in the Job and Internship Expo and was impressed by how many of the students I met were first-year students. During my first year in college, I had no idea what I wanted to do (especially after I nixed my plan to be the next ambassador to Belgium), much less actively pursuing possible options. What was most gratifying to me as an adherent to a liberal education that values broad knowledge and critical inquiry was that many students didn't have a major yet--but still wanted to find out what options were out there that may help them focus their energy and interests.  

Thus, I met a lot of acorns on this visit who had the right kind of support and encouragement from faculty and staff to eventually flourish into great oaks (sorry for the somewhat tortured metaphor).