To validate their art with sales is a goal for many artists, and thanks to a university program that seeks out student artwork for purchase, some students find their work lining the walls of Grand Valley State University — and some additional cash lining their pockets.

The art-buying program, discussed on A1 of this edition of the Lanthorn, is one of many opportunities GVSU gives to students to maximize their time and reward their achievements. Yes, every university has a vested interest in investing in its students, but GVSU gives students many opportunities to showcase both their creative projects and their scholarly work.

Of course, like everything else in life, these opportunities will only yield as much as you put into them. The university has done its job of meeting students halfway, and from there it’s up to us to make it to the middle.

Junior Elizabeth Uitvlugt was paid $200 for a painting she produced in an introductory course, the type of course some students blow off to deal with “more important” classes. However, purchasing artwork isn’t the only way that students can be rewarded for their efforts. Researchers can present their findings in April’s Student Scholars Day, scholars can publish papers in the Grand Valley Journal of History and aspiring writers can submit work to GVSU’s literary magazine, Fishladder, or to various targeted collections of stories printed on campus, like the Women’s Center’s In Her Words.

Ultimately, students are limited only by themselves. It’s hard to put yourself out there, but when it comes to your future, the risk is the reward that relies on hard work and a little bit of confidence. Whether looking to build a resume, pad a grad school application or simply have a more fulfilling undergraduate experience, the opportunities are there for the taking — so it’s up to students to take the initiative, and to go ahead and grab them.