Meet the Fellows: Emma Bliwas

Don’t allow letter grades to define your knowledge, intelligence or success.

My grandpa told me this valuable piece of advice before I left for my freshman year of college at the University of Denver. I thought to myself, “If I worked hard and genuinely enjoyed the classes I took, this in turn would result in good grades. However, grades shouldn’t be my primary focus.” Before I started college, I decided to not allow a letter grade to define my happiness and success, but to focus on what I learned and the relationships I created.

During this spring quarter with a shift to online classes, I haven’t held myself accountable to this important decision I made for my college experience. In this virtual environment, I get frustrated when I don’t get the grade I strived for and I have started to sway away from enjoying learning. I am so focused on grades and it has started to make me fall behind in my classes. However, the one class where I haven’t let my grade define my success is Ethics Fellows. In this unique course, I put energy into fostering unique relationships, collaborating with my peers and analyzing my leadership qualities.

This class has made this anxiety-risen time more productive and certain. Not only am I working on a project to help others lead a more ethical life, but I have been internally reflecting on the ethical traits I exude.

College is all about recognizing your true passions and what career field you will be happy in. I am grateful for this opportunity from Ethics Fellows to run the blog. From this eye-opening experience, I have decided to add a journalism minor. My grandpa not only taught me to focus on personal growth rather than grades, but he has been encouraging me to study journalism ever since I was five years old. He always says I ask about the “why” and love getting to know people and telling their stories. With his encouragement and my experience in Ethics Fellows, I am excited to explore journalism. Ethics Fellows has not only allowed me to learn new skills, but internally reflect on my future.

Meet the Author:

Emma Bliwas is a sophomore at the University of Denver (DU) studying International Business. She is passionate about giving back to her community and leading an ethical life. Emma believes that transparency, integrity and accountability are crucial for success in school and the workplace. At DU, Emma is involved in Delta Gamma and DU Programming Board. After her undergraduate career, she hopes to work for a non-profit company pursuing her marketing, communication and event planning skills.