At Grand Valley State University and beyond, there are many different kinds of students with many different kinds of relationships with their academic courses. While some students rue the hour and fifteen-minute blocks of institutionalized learning, some don’t mind it. And if you’re like Junior Nick Mackstood, and other GVSU students and professors, you not only don’t mind class, you like it; In fact, Mackstood likes class enough to do the assigned readings, and attend and participate in the lecture for no academic credit.

It’s called auditing classes – sitting in on a lecture or course on campus but with no formally awarded grades or academic credits, audited classes leave no mark on your academic transcript.

Some people use them to “brush up” on entry-level courses they’ve become unfamiliar with, and some – like Mackstood – audit classes simply because they like to learn.

We cannot speak for the majority of GVSU, but we can speak for the majority of the Lanthorn staff; and the average student here – already struggling to balance 15 credits worth of in-class time and even more hours of homework and test prep, with internships, part-time jobs and social demands – take the “less is more” approach to course loads. We love learning, but maybe not always in the classroom.

“It’s one of a handful of classes (I’ve taken) that has meant something to me,” Mackstood said in a story featured in today’s issue on A1. “Whether it be grad school, or something else, it’s opened me up to an entire new world of academia.”

Suffice to say, students like Mackstood have caught on to a trend that reinvigorates the spirit of higher education as it was originally intended to be – not one that strives toward a perfect G.P.A., or puts high-earning degrees on a pedestal, but one that values knowledge for knowledge’s sake. One that seeks to explode our world into one million little pieces, and reconnect the dots into something that makes the world a brighter and more dynamic place to be.

This perspective is not only commendable, but also admirable. This is a perspective that students across all majors, in all levels of their education should appreciate and seek to emulate. Not everyone has the time, nor the work ethic to take on course work that doesn’t move them toward graduation, but our world is changing, and students are going to need to arm yourself with more than just your academic transcript to make their way post-graduation.

A love of learning, for learning’s sake would, perhaps, be a good start.