Whether you are blissfully waltzing into your freshmen year, already procrastinating into your senior year or struggling somewhere in between, we all know what it is like to begin a new journey. Words like “terrifying,” “confusing” and “I’m not a real adult” all come to mind whenever I think about starting a new chapter of life. But I’m here to tell you that this year is going to be great. I’ve got you.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it. To taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly, without fear for newer and richer experiences.” In other words, we become the truest version of ourselves when we take advantage of new possibilities. If these wise words from America’s sweetheart aren’t doing it for you, let’s try something a little more relaxed, something we can all relate to.
In the words of Snoop Lion, “Bikinis, zucchinis, martinis, no weenies.” In other words, adventure is out there, my friends, and if you don’t jump at the chance, it may pass you by.
With a new year comes new responsibilities, new stresses and new ways of coping. Maybe you like to unwind with a three-day Netflix binge. Perhaps you prefer to find a nice quiet place to hang your head and worry about your credit score. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that serves you well. This semester, I am urging you to expand your horizons, find a new way of coping with stress and live your adventures to best of your ability.
With summer winding down and the loom of fall creeping eerily closer, it’s hard to hold onto that adventurous sensation that we all feel when the sun is high and the moments are slow. It is easy to feel bold when nothing is truly at stake. During summer, for now anyway, we just have to exist and breathe and dream and laugh and feel. No papers, no group projects, no final presentations; just easy living. This feeling shifts into apprehension once school starts, classes begin and homework piles up. I started to think about how to keep this bold feeling throughout the school year. How will I take the moments of chaos and confusion and turn them into an adventure?
As we slowly but surely trudge through this semester, it is important to remember that school isn’t everything. In my plebeian opinion, the most important part of our college years is stepping outside of your comfort zone and really seeing the world. For some, this may look like a study abroad trip or getting involved with any of the awesome Alternative Spring Breaks we have on campus. For others, this may look more like getting involved with a specific identity office in the Lory Student Center, maybe one you may not have any previous knowledge about. The important message is to seek adventure in everything you are doing. Try new things and be unafraid.
Best-selling author Benjamin Mee once wrote, “Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.” And then, Kendall McElhaney, a civilian just like you, used those same words to remind you that you have all the time in the world. Spend your 20 seconds wisely and do something courageous every day.
My favorite memories in college thus far have come from doing things I never thought I could do. These memories did not come from inside a classroom, they came from an idea of something I wanted to try and then I put it into action. Push yourself to try something new this semester. If you only do the bare minimum of what is expected of you, expect small results. Nothing just happens. You have to make it happen.
You can apply this mentality to your studies this year, as well as the many different adventures you may embark on. Just trust in the journey and fit your decisions around your ultimate goal, whatever that may be. Good luck this semester, everybody. Don’t be a weenie.
Collegian Columnist Kendall McElhaney spent her entire summer learning all the words to “Ignition” by R. Kelly in Hebrew. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kendallaftrdark.