Amy Rees Anderson

One College Graduate’s Thoughts About Their College Experience

My daughter Ashley is graduating this Friday from Brigham Young University (go BYU Cougars!) with her Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurial Management. I’m so proud of her!  Not just for graduating but for the incredible person she is.  A few days ago on social media Ashley shared the following thoughts about her college experience – after you read them you’ll understand why I am so proud!  Here’s her post:

RISE AND SHOUT, THIS COUGAR IS OUT (by Ashley Anderson Hill)

Since graduation week is officially here (and I passed all my finals 😅) I figured I’d share a few thoughts about my whole BYU experience and biggest takeaways.

– BYU’s mission is “Enter to learn, go forth the SERVE”. Notice it doesn’t say “go forth to EARN”. If I keep service as my focus moving forward, “earning” naturally follows. I really believe that to be true.

– Secular and religious truths can’t be separated. Truth is truth. At BYU you get the full picture, not just the secular piece. Starting each class with a prayer to seek for God’s help to learn challenging/new concepts, receive clarity for tests, and learn religious reasons behind secular truths made all the difference in my education.

– Knowledge is power. Power is confidence. An education increased my confidence.

– A formal education helped me to develop patterns for my life that will forever benefit me. A few include seeing with new perspectives, becoming a skeptic, not giving up, and thinking outside the box.

– Human relationships are necessary to get through anything difficult. Nothing motivates you like good people with your best interest at heart.

– There is no downside to college. A degree only opens doors, never closes them. Many times more opportunities come when you take the “long route”. Sometimes I struggled feeling behind when I saw my peers who dropped out to work full-time were making more money than I was and “getting ahead” in the business world. As my mission President always said, “Slow is fast, and fast is slow.”

– A “formal college education” might not be for everyone depending on learning styles and career choice, but a secondary education after high school definitely is.

– Busy does NOT equal productive. In a way college sets you up to fail. More homework, reading, and quizzes than any human can do perfectly. You have to learn to prioritize. Just like in life, if you don’t understand the big picture you’re just doing busy work and not actually progressing.

– Education doesn’t come easy. I had to retake a few classes (mostly anything that had to do with math…) and really work hard to understand challenging concepts. Anything worth it in the end is never easy.

My 4 years here were some of the hardest and most rewarding. I know there are so many people who don’t get the same privileges that I do, and I do recognize that I’m incredibly privileged to have received a college education. A huge thank you to all those who helped me get here and set me up for success moving forward! I’m grateful for this past stage in my life, and stoked for the next steps to come!

Ashley Anderson Hill (daughter of Amy Rees Anderson, author of “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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