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Rosemary Bray, “So How Did I Get Here”

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Writing on our own experiential learning and trials through the course of our lives is necessary to convey and project the issues central and unique to not only ourselves, but the cohorts of our generation.  Therefore, it is both aesthetic and ethical to subscribe to this type of writing.  A college student cannot reach self-actualization (as the college setting should emphasize) or empathize with others inside or outside this institution without examining themselves through writing.  In addition to the benefits of providing more self-aware and concerned college citizens, it is essential that the issues surrounding each generation be documented for future students and scholars.  Therefore “how did I get here?” transcends to how we all got here and where we are all going.

Abraham Maslow extensively outlines the process of self-actualization, an attribute achieved through following the course of learning.  Self-actualized people know “how they got here” and embrace their journeys.  They have developed their own moral code and appreciate the feat of lifetime learning.  Eric Erikson, also, developed a set of life challenges that can and should be met in a college setting and beyond.  His idea of generativity, whereas a person appreciates his or her past and wishes to impart acquired wisdom to future generations is both aesthetic and ethical.

“Thomas Jefferson once asserted that each generation has an obligation to leave the following one at least as well off as it had been itself” (Holtz, 1995).  So, it follows that each generation of students and writers should share his or her own life experiences in a format that benefits both the student and the reader.  It is both healthy and timeless.  It is ethical and it is necessary.


Boeree, Dr. C. George.  Erik Erikson 1902 – 1994.  http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/erikson.html , last accessed on 16th February, 2007.

Holtz, Geoffrey T.  (1995).  Welcome to the Jungle: The Why Behind “Generation X”.  New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs , last accessed on 16th February, 2007.

Mill, John Stuart. ed. (1925). A System of Logic.  London, UK:  Longman, Green, and Co.

Strauss, William& Howe, Neil. (1991).  Generations: The History of America’s Future 1584 to 2069.  New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc. 

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