For some of you, moving in at the end of the month will only be a short drive from home, from family, from friends, from familiarity. For others, Murray Hall might be five, six, even eight or more hours from home. But for all of you, stepping foot into your new residence will be a step into a great unknown, and although you will each be presented with the same challenge to face, you will each surmount that challenge in twenty-eight beautiful, messy, gloriously unique ways.
Although you are constantly directed by family, mentors, and professors to seek advice from older students, and you should, there are some lessons you can only learn from experience-- an idea which is both formidable and appealing. Whether it be learning how to do your own laundry, schedule a doctor's appointment, manage your time, or make thirty dollars last you thirty days (let's hope it doesn't come down to that), these lessons will be exhausting, hard to swallow, and sometimes seemingly impossible-- but they will help you grow as both a student and an individual. When these lessons present themselves as mountainous obstacles, take them in stride knowing that you are not the first to do so, nor will you be the last.
You must also know that the high expectations of family, former teachers, and your community that rest on your shoulders are the product of your many successes and as such should be regarded with pride. However, when these successes become your whole world, they become a very load to bear. Remember that despite carrying the whole world, even Atlas had to stand somewhere, and he had to have a horizon to look towards. Do not let your former failures or glories become the heaviness of self-doubt or contentment. You have a whole new world before you. Your challenges and obstacles may seem to tower before you, but they should not be allowed to block your from looking towards your goals. Rather, they should be a vantage point, a checkpoint; you must only dedicate yourself to conquering them.
In doing so you may stumble, you may have to pause for breath, you might even hit the ground. But never let yourself fall backwards, and never, ever give up.
There will be helping hands along the way (your fellow Terrys among them) to steady you when you falter in your journey, but the journey is yours alone. No matter how heavy your burden, how slow your pace, do not look away from your destination. With time, effort, and dedication, you will reach your end goal-- and have the memories of every laugh, tear, smile, defeat, and victory to look back on.
by Tyler Seale