Archive for May, 2011

What I learned from my First Amendment rights at UCLA

I decided to write this blog for the many young people who have reached out to me over the years and have asked “Was going to college worth it?” In these harsh economic times those of college bound years ask “If I don’t go am I really missing out on anything except financial debt and a piece of paper that seems worthless in getting a job?”

I recently received the article below from a fellow alumnus of UCLA.   After reading this article I wanted to share the most important lesson I learned by attending UCLA.  This lesson has remained with me over twenty years later.  There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for this in both my professional and personal success.

Lesson:  Critical and analytical thinking is learned through reading, discussion, debate, or challenging what you have read and heard.   The reinforcement of analytical thinking is then learning to communicate and prepare in writing a coherent argument for your belief.   I learned regardless of your opinion you must not be afraid to express it.  Your belief or opinion is not about being wrong or right rather it is about creating a dialogue and an opportunity for growth.   If we all went with popularity there would be no individualism, no free will, a lack of confidence & self-esteem and a lack of leadership.  Had it not been reinforced by every professor regardless of the subject matter my circumstances of growing up in hardship and abuse would have resulted in a tragic personal life and a dented conviction that I could make it.  Critical and Analytic thinking gave me the courage to have a voice and learn how to use that voice effectively.

This lesson also allowed me to participate in a peaceful protest against the Gulf War with hundreds of other UCLA students who also used their voice as a direct result of their First Amendment rights.  College is an exploration of who you are in a safe environment.  Do I still have student loan debt from the summation of all my year’s education?  Yes.   Am I paying interest on my interest amortized into my principle?  Yes.   Am I paying almost 4x’s more than the original loan.  Yes.  Do I regret living my passion?  No.  If I were to die today would I have regret that I never bought a home because of my student loan debt?  Absolutely Not.   To this day what seems like a stupid piece of paper still opens doors.  I started as a kid from nothing and used my voice to turn tragedy into triumph.

Make it an Excuse Free Life!

Here is the article:

‘UCLA should be more concerned with preserving First Amendment rights than maintaining public image’

Joshua Lee / the Daily Bruin
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Court Case

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on May 20, 2011|Category: Career, Economy, Education, Excuse Free Living No Comments »