Yesterday, my student asked if she could interview me for her Biobehavioral Health class assignment. I thought these interview questions might have something to do with stress, work-life balance, or my unnatural love of semicolons and vivid verbs. I’m used to student interviews; many courses send students out to gain career insight from professors, and they report their findings back to the class.
So I’m in the hallway before class, and my student begins with what I think will be an interview about how I handle stress. Instead, she launches into these four questions:
1. What was your biggest regret from college?
2. If I only read one book in college, which one book would you recommend I read?
3. What is your definition of a great student?
4. How do you define success?
Well, I wasn’t exactly prepared, but there she sat, ready to record every word I said. She told me her professor was encouraging this class of students to find wisdom and guidance from professors to help them be the best kind of students they could be.
Did she want the truth? Yes. Did she want the real me? Yes.
I told her that my biggest regret from college was not focusing on or enjoying my relationship with God my freshman year. I told her that I regret the partying and dating that harmed my faith. I told her that if she could read only one book, she should read the Bible because it shows you how to know God and has an answer to every problem you’ll ever have.
She typed. I answered.
I told her that a great student is curious and knows how to extract information from every class to help advance her personal and career goals. A great student works hard.
Finally, I answered the success question. Since it was on-the-spot, it seemed like the answer bubbled up from inside me from a honest place. I said that success is knowing that I accomplished all that God had in store for my life, and that really, it was about relationships more than anything else.
She typed. I scrunched up my face in thought at my own answers. I didn’t say fame! I didn’t say wealth! I didn’t say prestige!
I think these are great questions, and I wish I had asked my professors these same ones. What would you have said?