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Saturday, March 7, 2009 12:54 p.m.

Experience is not everything

by admin

This post was written by freshman Lyndsey Wajert, a Hatchet columnist.

With age comes wisdom, they say. Experience counts, we are told. The conditions of our society dictate that for whatever reason, there is a negative attitude associated with being an amateur, a rookie and especially, a freshman. But being “new” to a profession, skill or college does not necessarily mean that the person doesn’t belong, or that they have nothing to contribute.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “Every artist was first an amateur.” So my question is directed towards the upperclassmen and the graduates who insist on grouping all freshmen into one inferior category. By the way, weren’t you all freshmen at some point in your lives?

I understand that you are entitled to your feelings of superiority; you put in your time, and have learned a lot through your college experiences. But when a freshman writes a dissenting Opinions piece for the Hatchet, do not attack the piece because of the class level of the author. Similarly, do not claim that freshmen should be “seen and not heard” with columnist positions on the Hatchet. How about judging the writing on its content, and the ideas on their merits?

Sure, being new to something may suggest inexperience and naiveté. But there are exceptions.

Take for example, figures in sports, literature and Hollywood. As a rookie, Washington Redskins Running back Timothy “Timmy” Smith helped his team defeat the Denver Broncos while setting a Super Bowl rushing record of 204 yards and two touchdowns. Author Mary Shelley’s very first novel was the famed classic “Frankenstein.” The majority of “Slumdog Millionaire’s” cast had never acted in a film before appearing in this year’s Best Picture.

Obviously, novices should not be so easily dismissed based solely on experience. Just as Timmy Smith is entitled to his Super Bowl ring, as Mary Shelley is entitled to her reputation and as the actors of “Slumdog” are entitled to bask in Oscar fame, freshmen columnists are entitled to their opinions.