Dear fellow Duke students,
I love our University, so there are few things that bother me more than hearing my fellow students complain about what I like to refer to as ‘first world problems.’ We, as students of this amazing university, should be thankful for all the opportunities present in this place and the doors that they open to our future. Let me keep it quick.
There are many children in the world that literally dream of attending college someday, but many never even get past middle school before they have to start working to help maintain their families. On the other hand, not only are we fortunate enough to go to a college; we are blessed to go to Duke University, one of the premier academic institutions in the world.
It is no secret that coming to Duke can be expensive and is a financial burden to many. But Duke is a place where it doesn’t matter whether you pay full tuition and housing, or don’t pay a single cent to be here; we have all come here to learn. Generous donors, the Duke Endowment, and tuition-paying families are selflessly making it possible for all of us to seamlessly attend this prestigious institution and enjoy what will hopefully be some of the four most memorable years of our lives. Yes, we will have to work hard, and yes, there will be things we don’t like. But in the grand scheme of things, shouldn’t we be thankful that we can have a tuna poke bowl for lunch or a ribeye for dinner?
When faced with the question about whether Duke should ask us for money or not with initiatives like the Senior Giving Challenge, I acknowledge that it is an individual choice. Some people would like to donate but don’t have the financial means to do so. Others have the means but simply don’t want to. And that’s fine.
Sometimes I think it is necessary for us to take a step back, take a look around and realize how fortunate we are to be here and have so many resources at our disposal. As the famous Cinderella song goes: “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
Roberto Miselem is a Pratt senior.