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A good university is, in many ways, a lot like a strong soccer team. Just as Lehigh does not have a single objective of teaching information, so also the aim of a strong soccer team is not only to win. Aside from teaching in the classroom, a university’s objective is to develop good habits in its students which will help them for the rest of their lives.
For a University to have cohesion, there must be trust, and the University as a whole must be selfless. If one student wants an internship and betrays another to acquire it, then any sense of trust will be destroyed. Without trust, how can people work together, how can there be cohesion? On the soccer team, when our main striker doesn’t pass the ball when he should, but attempts to make the goal on his own, what always happens is that the other strikers begin to do the same. Everybody stops passing the ball — and winning a game is really hard when you are playing alone against 11 skilled opponents.
To be successful requires work. Lots of it. In a University setting, that means studying, being dedicated, and working hard. In the same way, there is a reason that I need to go to practice every single day for over an hour. I need to condition my body, my skill, and my attitude, so that on the field, in the real world, wherever I find myself, I will be able to act and react in a way that will earn me success. Dedication is necessary for success.
Finally, a University must support its students through its professors. Few things are worse than putting time and effort into a project only to have your work completely ignored. Professors who spend time with their students to teach, train, and motivate them are essential. As a soccer team, my teammates and I always play the best at our home games. Bleachers full of parents and fellow students encouraging us as a team can be a determining force in a game. Professors need to be the cheering parents in the bleachers. Though they aren’t out on the field kicking the ball, they push their students to think, to be smart, to care.
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