Patience isn’t one of my virtues. It’s not even one of my friends. If I’m at Disneyland I want to be the first one on the ride. On Black Friday if the line is longer than 15 people, the deal is just not worth it. I like my life moving fast as the roadrunner, efficient as clockwork, and smooth as a newly paved road. I just don’t have time for patience.
But I’m learning, slowly, that in this world, we could all use a little less hurry and a little more patience.
At the Hallick Forum on Monday, students rose to the occasion and raised some timely comments and questions to our President, Lesley Hallick, regarding the current state of the university and where it’s headed in the future. The topics ranged from a lack of space and financial aid to improving sustainability and diversity efforts. All great directions for change, but I’m a little concerned with the scope of the conversation.
All of Hallick’s responses were professional and frank, but more importantly, all of them emphasized the same message: “yes, in time.” That new residence hall we need might be built in the next five years. We will continue to improve our sustainability efforts as we renew our contracts with third-party businesses and renovate our campus, striving for a Gold rating in eco-friendliness. Faculty are making every effort to recruit more diverse educators year after year. The focal studies that illicit groans from the student populace will undergo renovation. Balancing the financial aid with the rising cost of tuition will be fair across the border in a few years.
Our campus will change, and it is changing, but it will take time. It’s not hard to imagine better facilities, a faculty and staff as diverse as its students, an improved, insightful curriculum. The problem is we’re students, we’re impatient, and we want it now.
What I’m beginning to realize, though, is that in our time here at Pacific, we might not be able to see the changes that we effect by advocating for what we care about. But because we do care, because we fight for and believe in a better Pacific University, we lay down the groundwork for the students that will come after us. The simple fact is: change takes time.
I’m as frustrated as we all are that we can’t have lunch with our professors in a UC shaped like a spaceship made of recycled materials powered by the sun tomorrow, but I’m learning that change, like all good things (except the lottery perhaps) takes time. Maybe we could all use a little more patience, and trust that Pacific has a bright future ahead of it, as long as we shape it how it ought to be.
So, will things get better? “Yes, in time.”