Reflections on Back-to-School

With another semester beginning again, I find much to reflect on. There are so many new beginnings to think about and discuss: for us college students, it means new roommates, new classes, new opportunities, and just a new year (a year older, a year wiser)—a clean slate for a handful of life experiences.

Roommates can be your best friends, but they can also be your worst enemies. Lucky for me, I’ve gotten along with all of my roommates thus far—whether best friends or just considerate living-mates, I am thankful to say that I have not encountered the “naked roommate” or the “crazy overzealous achiever” (who drives you crazy bragging about grades, relationships, involvement on campus, you get the picture…) or any other crazy roommates you can think of for that matter. What’s so wonderful about roommates (at least, from my experience) is that you can all be so different (different religions, have different political views, different family lives, etc.), yet you can all be so alike. You find the things that you have in common and those are what mesh you together—I guess like in any friendship. You get along (or don’t get along) based off of things that you both enjoy (or don’t enjoy/agree upon)… just like with roommates.

The thought of new classes can be daunting, especially since you’ve most likely been on a break all summer. I think it’s exciting, however. Now that I am taking classes that pertain to my major (speech pathology), they’re not so tedious—actually lessons that I want to learn about! (I should restate… I am excited for classes, but definitely not for the amount of work that comes with them.) Summer, you will be missed, but I am excited to see what’s in store for me!

Take advantage of all the new opportunities that you possibly can. I am hoping to volunteer at the American Cancer Society this semester and I am ecstatic! I’m really looking forward to the experience, especially since I can relate it to my major (my goal is to specialize in speech patients that have had a head/neck cancer). New opportunities come in the form of a new job, a new volunteer position, a new internship, joining a new club, the list goes on and on… but, absolutely take advantage of all of your resources and of everything that is thrown your way. Don’t let anything slip past you because I promise all of these opportunities will be valuable today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next…

Good luck, everyone, with going back to school! I wish you all the best!

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Second Chances, Strength, and No Regrets

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

When I woke up this morning, my parents were watching CBS Sunday Morning. The cover story was about an ex-convict turned student, lawyer, and husband. He had been a successful high school student and football player who graduated with scholarships and planned to attend college. He couldn’t handle the stresses of college, dropped out after a semester, had a few jobs, married, had a child, and divorced. He then turned to drugs and alcohol and was convicted for several armed robberies. Sentenced to 20 years in prison, he thought his life was over. But, he turned things around for himself and took correspondence college courses in prison and was released 13 years early. He finished law school, got a job, and remarried. He is waiting to hear about his score on the BAR exam and he and his wife are expecting.

This story absolutely got me thinking about my life, second chances, and what wisdom I can impart on the blog world. We have to take each day as it comes and live life to the fullest because while this man did get a second chance, life may not always allow for that. A lesson that this man tries to teach everyone (especially those in prison—he goes and speaks to them about second chances) is that there are no excuses for not trying. He is the prime example of his lesson. There is no reason that an ex-con can’t make it because this man is proof positive that that’s just not true.

Life Tips:

  1. Second chances are rare but when given the opportunity, take advantage of them.
  2. Don’t live with regret because no matter how good or bad your experience is, you can always learn a lesson.
  3. Believe in your dreams and run with them—they will become your future.
  4. Find your niche in the world and set your mind, heart, and soul to anything that you think is worth accomplishing.
  5. Always make time for things that are important to you.