I sometimes joke about how people who are a class or two below me (i.e. the Class of 2019 or 2020) are children. However, it is time for us “older” students and adults to realize something: these students are not kids anymore. They are adults. They are scholars. They can think for themselves and can make decisions that affect their lives. Just because the students I had were two years below me, does not mean they are any less capable than I was or am. We are, arguably, part of the same generation, and we can all learn something from each other.
Another thing I learned is that the people I did go to the first NLC with are beasts. One of them is about to go to Oxford to get his master’s, another is finishing up an internship she had with the New York City mayor’s office, and another is set to graduate from Johns Hopkins with a degree in neuroscience. I may have been the only one from NYU at this conference, but I was part of a collective of people doing awesome things.
The last thing I learned from this conference is to not be afraid to make a request, no matter how big it is. Generally, adults are quite willing to help us, even if it involves talking about the pursuit of a career or even a job or internship opportunity. Students, however, do not always take advantage of these opportunities to connect because they may think that these individuals are too high in power and would want nothing to do with them. We must not be afraid to explore a possible connection and see what happens. If we do not explore, we are left with what-ifs, which later turn into regrets. Put another way, you have to A-S-K to G-E-T.
-- Ricardo Canelo