Student encourages constructive criticism

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Each year, alumni come back to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, not only to celebrate GHOE, but also to criticize our generation.

Among all of the positive things that could be highlighted, some Aggie alumni feel the need to discuss what they think is wrong with current students. You hear things like, “If we wait on this generation to lead us, we might as well die,” “What have they been doing with their time?” “This work is horrible.” Or the most famous line: “You all are nothing compared to us. When I was here, we were unstoppable.” 

Granted, alumni who have made an impact on the university and the world should be acknowledged and celebrated. 

However, what about those who have not accomplished as much as they have convinced themselves into believing they did? 

This is by no means a method to degrade alumni, but an attempt to shed light on what this generation needs from faculty, staff, and elders in order to be successful.

I have met a handful of alumni, faculty and staff who take time out of their busy schedules to provide constructive criticism, feedback, and encouragement without attempting to demean one’s character in the process. We hear various things about why African Americans do not succeed as a race, but we fail to assess the things that we are pouring into others. 

This generation is not doing and will never do everything right. In order to grow, learn, and evolve, it takes strong elders to be sensitive yet honest and provide us with the necessary resources to mature and be prepared for the “real world.” Then, we will be able to do the same for generations to come.

Alumni and others should realize that there is a difference between telling a person what is wrong with something and showing them how to hone their craft without belittling the individual. We must ask ourselves several questions, “Is the person qualified or skilled in a specific area to help others hone their craft?” Or does the individual spew venom because they fear that the student will one day learn and pose a threat to them? Hopefully, the answers to these questions are positive. If not, you do not have successful pioneers reaching back to help, but merely dream stealers.

This generation is different, to say the least. Are we worth giving up on? No. While there is some bad, there is also a lot of good in this generation. Remember, “One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.” 

To those who are working tirelessly to help this generation, please do not stop because your labor is not in vain.

To this generation, do not give up on your dreams because you were mishandled by an elder. Stay true to your values and beliefs. If you want better, do better. We make mistakes but learn from them and move forward. Continue to fight, work hard and persevere. You are a winner!

-Email Brianna at [email protected] and follow us on twitter @ltheatregister

  • Brianna Harrison Copy Editor