The Daily Gamecock

Column: Students should focus on meaningful interactions

Welcome to the University of South Carolina! Your freshman heart can barely contain itself as you stare out your residence hall window. How lucky you feel seeing your newly unpacked room and freshly printed Carolina garb that has yet to show signs of faithful wear. You are picturing the potential opportunities currently veiled before you as you hear your peers in constant conversation in the hallway discussing fears and expectations that match your own. 

Just kidding! Everyone is probably on their phones — and so are you.

The previous illustration, though possessing hints of accuracy, is highly romanticized. Like toddlers eager to impress their guardians, students are relentlessly fighting to prove their importance and status in the social world. 

But instead of toddlers, it’s budding adults; instead of guardians, it’s other wanna-be independents. Despite the fact that the hearts of college students desire to find their place in this great big world, their attention is placed less on the people in it and more on the imaginary content beneath a piece of glowing glass.

However, this observation is nothing new.

Millennials have become desensitized to the phrase, “Get off your phone!” The words are meaningless now that social worth is determined by an extensive media presence rather than the ability to initiate and maintain meaningful conversation. It is difficult for a college student to see above the wall that is social acceptance and focus on the pathway over it leading to his or her dream career.

Honestly, employers aren’t looking for a specific GPA. They're barely looking for a specific degree. Companies are in desperate need of talented individuals who can connect well with clients. Relationships build trust and loyalty. Loyalty provides a faithful profit. If you are someone who can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth — or simply trust your marketing and representation capabilities — you’re in!

Remember: Success follows passion.

Make people your ultimate motivation. If you are more enamored by the consistent ring of notifications rather than the opportunity to help meet a person’s needs, you are replaceable. Don’t let the temporary desire for acceptance take precedent over a bigger picture: growing in order to serve others. You are here for a reason and have been accepted with confidence. Don’t blow it.