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#BeAdaptable, #BeOrange

Posted March 20th, 2013 by archielj


“Be Adaptable, Be Orange”

By: Justin Archield

Oregon State! Fight! Fight! Fight! O-S-U home of the Beaver Nation located right here in cow-town or as we all know of it to be Corvallis, Oregon. Where the campus comes alive the first few weeks of Fall term then hits a dreadful depressing Winter, and jumps right into Spring term with the sun and the beaver community playing on the IM fields and trying to soak up as much sun as possible. Being reminded everyday as you step on campus that Orange and Black are our school colors, with banners along the roads asking us what our Orange moment is. What is our Orange experience? I never would have thought I would actually have to answer this question; I always just saw the banners with different people being represented and kept on pushing throughout my day. That is until I registered for this Philosophy class known to be Ethics 205 where Professor Jenkins has challenged us to define what does being Orange even mean? At first I thought hell I don’t know we simply go to Oregon State so that makes us Orange right? We study here, work here, hangout here, doesn’t that define what that means? When she later went on to unpack the assignment like she has been telling us to do all term “unpack this, explain in more detail what you mean.” She stated what does it mean to be Orange here and what do you want your degree to mean after you graduate? So that simply proposed the next initial thought in my head of well I guess I never really thought about what my degree wanted to mean you know. I always thought the degree was just a ticket into the real world saying you took the time out to learn about your profession and you got a certificate, saying that you successfully completed 4 years of college course work, now hurry up and get a job so you can pay off your school loans.


So later she told us to define a value that we think makes up this whole BeOrange concept and after she gave us a list of some of the values the class created and she separated them into groups the term being well-rounded caught my attention which was in the ‘Unusual values’ group. Myself being unique or liking to think I am wanted to make this my value but I changed that term to being adaptable simply because I feel like coming here to Oregon State through my experiences I have learned to adapt too many different situations college has thrown at me. Through horrible roommates, job responsibilities, course work, and learning to be independent while finally leaving home for the first time to be on my own. There were so many different opportunities and chances to gain knowledge coming my way that I had to learn to put on many different faces to be able to keep up with the many options being presented. So let me explain to you what I think being Orange is.


My values that define being Orange are Adaptability, Accountability, and Diversity. Defining value as something that is important, based on a principle that has worth in pertaining to BeOrange


I say adaptability because having the ability to change environments quickly without being setback and changing your behavior to match that exact moment in time, and to be able to go with the flow is a strong value to have. This being my Junior year into college I have noticed that this is the strongest thing I hold value too, when first coming to Oregon State I had to learn to adapt to this new culture and way of life living in Corvallis. That I was on my own capable of making my own decisions and free to explore and challenge my thoughts and ideas, and Oregon State has done that for me so far. Simply because we all come from different backgrounds and then are dropped off in this Orange community that is already pr-determined before we get to know what it is. And we eventually acquire the skills quickly overtime needed to become one with the Orange community. We all have the ability to be put into a new setting and grow from that experience; we were all willing to be open not only to people but the new ideas and insights on what they may feel life is about or their point of view. We as freshman came in a with a blank slate ready to obtain information to help ourselves grow to not only on a personal level but to obtain social progress. Being Orange is part of us being adaptable to the Oregon State lifestyle, experiencing all of what the university has to offer and allowing you to be vulnerable to different cultures and people. This will all go on to affect our past, present, future, and lifetime growth. When you are adaptable you learn that you can evolve and see yourself in a different light or in a way you never thought was possible.


In being Orange you have to be accountable for your everyday actions, that everything you go about doing is a reflection of not only you but everyone that is a part of this Beaver Nation. That anything that makes the news or a headline we are represented as that. That one bad apple can make the rest of the tree look bad. Taking on a form of responsibility to the projects that you do and are getting yourself involved in. Not only being accountable for having responsibility to someone else but to you as well. Knowing when you should take the initiative on something and when you should step back to give sometime to yourself. We actually end up being more accountable for a lot of things in our daily lives than we think. In class we learned how we used Ethics in all we do and that everything we choose to do or choose not to do has some form of ethical response. I remember doing a lesson on ethics spotting and having to spot at least 100 things in a single day and it was much harder than I could imagine. Simply because it was hard to define it at first simply because what I may have spotted may have been different than the next person. I learned to be more accountable through my employment opportunities of getting a chance to work on campus as an event specialist for the MU. Learning that I am responsible for all the work I do and the outcomes people are supposed to obtain through the events. My boss is always saying that “we are accountable for everything that we do and put on; you have to take the initiative to move things forward.” It was something along those lines but I understand that now through being Orange we are accountable for the whole community it isn’t just an individual thing that we take on.


Going back for just a second I mentioned that Corvallis or Oregon State has a certain way of life. I am referring to the Oregon State lifestyle by being a part of the different traditions this university has to offer and putting forth your existence in the community by being and active citizen and being present in the moment by actively engaging. Whether that being meeting new people through school sponsored events, attending a workshop, which challenges your thinking, or going to Dixon and enjoying the different things that they have to offer. By getting a chance to step outside your comfort zone and getting to know people that are different from you and not restricting yourself to your clique of friends. Attending the many cultural nights that we have on campus every year to try new foods, see different styles of dances’ and traditions. The University may have brought us all here but it should be our duty as students and faculty to go beyond and meet the people; that in the end make up the University it is today. Or if you are interested in experiencing what the Greek life has to offer then go and put yourself out there don’t take into account the stereotypes without engaging it first. We have to open our minds up to these new things in order for us to be considered true citizens of the Orange community. What I mean by being citizens and community I mean being an active member of your town or city recognizing your rights and privileges others may not have a chance to get involved in. I’m taking community as a group of people who are living together in the same place under the same type of conditions with common characteristics. Bodies of people that are taking ownership of the BeOrange campaign and are living together with a basic line of similar interests.


Having the ability to be diverse I think plays a main role in what being Orange is all about in my opinion. Showing that you have a very well developed variety and different layers that make up not just your overall appearance, but that you are different in a way that a lot of people find to be unique. Being able to stand out from the crowd and having the ability to think on your own; it’s what makes you different from the person to the left or the right of you. I think that’s what the greatest part of being Orange is about we are all different and make up so many different aspects of this university. We all have our own compassion for things which helps enhance one another to be greater. I believe through diversity it can show that you have a high level of sympathy and awareness of the people around you.


So in the end what would I want my degree to mean as I progress through life? That I put in all the work that I needed to get to where I am today. That my degree is more than the major that I have chosen to seek a professional job in while here. I have encountered plenty of life experiences and work criteria to help me strive through college and use what I have learned to have the ability to apply it later in life. That I have worked with different cultural groups from across the globe with my employment opportunities, which will stay in my memory for the rest of my life. It’s a learning experience that I have enjoyed and sometimes you don’t get these chances anywhere else but a university. That my degree is beyond the athletic department, the party school, and the Greek community. Even though being a current member in a fraternity I know that my growth and membership won’t stop after I leave there that I take into account the values my fraternity is based on of truth, honor, and personal integrity. Chi Phi shout out! That everything is still a learning process and I have gone through so much in college and have a lot of real world experience that a lot of people have yet to encounter. That even though I have my degree I couldn’t tell you right now what my life goal is because I like to live in the moment and take things day by day but I know there is a greater purpose after college. Graduating with a degree from OSU shows that the institution is still pushing forward thousands of kids that are looking to pursue a career, and is growing to attract more students from all over the globe. I want it to mean more than a piece of paper I put high value on, I want it to open doors for me to be successful and to say I qualify and have the credentials to be placed where I need to be.


In the end of it all I don’t want to limit being Orange to just students. Faculty embraces this campaign just as much as students do. They are here accountable for the university and our learning and they too have the opportunity to engage with what the University is offering. In particular I am glad I have gotten a chance to take this Philosophy class with Professor Jenkins. She was able to challenge my ideas that I presented through assignments with philosophical feedback. So Orange is a community. Orange is a value. Orange is your experience. Orange is whatever you think makes this university unique to you in a sense that applies and challenges your morals and behavior. Being orange will forever go beyond our time here at this university! So ask yourself now what makes up your orange moment?



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One Response to “#BeAdaptable, #BeOrange”

  1. bulloccl Says:

    It sounds like you are having a smooth transition into school here at OSU. I would have to agree that diversity is a really important aspect of school as well.

    What other ways do you think that OSU students are better prepared for life than other students?

    I would have liked to see more what you think about “Being Orange” than hearing about the other aspects of college. We are here for school you know!

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