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Op-Ed: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Posted by: tdt -

Op-Ed: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

With three semesters remaining in my undergraduate program, the future is bright, and the opportunities are seemingly endless. After four semesters of hard work, dedication and changes in my major, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I started my first semester at West Texas A&M University, I thought I had my entire future mapped out. I would have never guessed that I would be presented with the endless opportunities that WT has offered me – opportunities that have sculpted my future into something far greater and more beautiful than I could have ever planned for myself at eighteen years old. This campus has taught me things that expand far beyond a textbook in just two years.

It was once said to me, “Though a situation may present itself to be impossible, if it were possible, how would you achieve it?” By answering this, you have just made the impossible a potential reality. These words are the driving force in my relentless pursuit of not only chasing my dreams but also reaching them and building on them. The application of these words has helped me persevere in a time that is so pivotal in an academic career. The halfway point of college can be a challenging time for students. It is full of moments when your dreams feel so close that they consume your every thought. Then there are moments when your dreams feel so distant that you would give anything to be a kid living at home again. It is the time when you begin to feel proud of the things you have accomplished and begin to see some of your biggest dreams become your reality. The halfway point is the ultimate test of perseverance, learning to appreciate your shortcomings and the moment that defines how you will navigate future obstacles.

I have always been told that I can have a big God or a big fear in life but that I would never be able to have both simultaneously. As I navigate a time that the fear of failure can easily stall, I am beginning to understand just how impactful these words are. There is something so beautiful about learning to fail and learning to fail well. It is easy to push yourself in areas where you know you will excel, but it is powerful to push yourself in areas in which you fear you will fall short. These moments teach you to get up and try again until you have succeeded. It teaches you to be resilient in the face of adversity instead of running from failure. When the newness of college and being on your own wears off, you begin to feel the weight of navigating the world on your own in a much different way than when you arrive on a college campus. This time, it is not the feeling of freedom but the realization that you are a step closer to experiencing life outside school for the first time.

The halfway point is just as exciting as it is difficult. Though it presents many new challenges, it also offers many new possibilities. It is easy to be discouraged at this point in an academic career, but I believe it is time to be more motivated than ever. The world is right before me, waiting for me to make my mark. I continue to learn there is much more out there than where I am and where I think I want to be. It is important to be excited about the future, but it is equally important finding joy in where I am now. Someday, I will wish I was twenty years old again, beginning to see the abundance of opportunities around me. If we focus too intensely on the future and what it may hold, we will miss everything that makes the present so special. As I near the light at the end of the tunnel, I am confident I am exactly where I need to be. I am motivated by my peers, educators and supervisors that believe in me and my abilities to succeed. I am eager to finish my studies and begin a journey that I can only hope will be as beautiful as the one I am on now. Though I am only halfway there, I know the end is approaching quickly. Until then, I will continue to learn to celebrate my successes, find beauty in my failures and become resilient in making the impossible my reality.

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