When I come to think of it, I cannot under-estimate my-estimate my debt to my college. Indeed I am ashamed to think how ungratefully I used to join my friends in eroticizing my alma mater. I complained about many things, but now I fell how thoughtless I had been. For even on a cursory review my debt to her has been great indeed. Familiarity, in fact, had unconsciously bread contempt where reflection should have induced gratitude.
If, today, I have any status intellectually, owe it to my teachers. Their lectures were invariably a source of valuable information, and sometimes of real inspiration. They disciplined my mind and directed my thoughts. They made me mentally alert. They gave me valuable directions and hints to guide my studies along fruitful lines. They helped me to form my mind, to have a mental attitude to things.
But perhaps more than this, I acquired from my college valuable lessons in conduct and behavior. I used to be a ‘Rustic’ village boy; now I am thoroughly urbanized. I have shaken off my awkwardness. I have learned to speak without being either shy or impudent. Times without number I have been pulled up by my teachers for defects in department till I know today that it is bad money to learn against the table, to cut in with an inquiry or complain when another is speaking, instead of waiting courteously till my turn comes. I have been drilled into punctuality, disciplined into politeness.
At college, I also received opportunities to build up my body I availed myself of the advantages offered by our gymnasium for physical culture. There the physical instructor took me in hand, found out my deficiencies and outlined a proper course of exercise for their removal. Under his advice and guidance, I have acquired agility and physical efficiency.
Above all, the college has given me a passport to the world at large. As a graduate, I have earned a cultural distinction, a professional competence, and a social prestige. In a word, I own my present status in the world to what my college has done for me.
And so, as I look back to my life in the college, I feel profoundly conscious of the great debt that I own her. Not that I can put it in so many words; it is an elusive, shaping influence that infiltrates into an individual over the years. I can but describe the bare physical context. It was acquired from day-to-day and from hour to hour. I caught it from the flying words of my teacher; I took it in from the indefinable atmosphere that pervaded its halls and its corridors; I acquired it from my association with my friends. In a word, I was molded imperceptibly into what I am today, and if I am not better, the fault, recognize, is my own.