What is black, white, and red all over? A bunch of guys in black suits, white shirts, and red ties for a forum (Because obviously red is the only tie color). Okay, okay, lame joke. But really, what is this thing with getting dressed professionally, sitting in a lecture hall, and listening to somebody in your desired field lecture for an hour of your life? I will be the first to admit I wasn’t initially excited about both of my forums last semester (double majors, represent!), but, like every time I go to a forum, I left my forums happy that I had gone. While some people “don’t get the point” of a forum (attending a one-hour event to hear a presentation on some element of your chosen field), I think its pretty self-explanatory if you take a minute to think about it.
You get to see somebody who is successful in your field: You know, seeing somebody else has actually suffered through all of your classes before and has a legitimate job with actual monetary income, it makes you feel better. You know there is light at the end of the four-year tunnel, and you know that could be you up there some day. While we realize our teachers are well-qualified professionals, it feels different listening to non-academics.
You get to learn about various topics in your field: In our classes, we learn a wide variety of subject matter of varying scope and depth. Sure our classes are fun, but what happens in THE REAL WORLD?! (DUN, DUN, DUUUUN!) Attending forums lets us see real projects worked on by real-world professionals. It’s very insightful. (By the way: like 99.9% of the time, you will see parallels to the classes you are currently taking.)
You get to ask relevant questions about your field: After the speaker has finished his presentation, we are invited to ask questions. It’s nice to be able to ask field-related questions about what you just heard. You feel involved, and it gets you excited about the opportunities out there.
So next time you have a forum, get all dressed up, go to your lecture hall, and spend an hour of your life enjoying learning about your field.