New Beginnings

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An exciting part of life to which we can all relate is beginning something new.  It could be a new relationship, coming to college for the first time, trying a new sport, hobby, or a new job.  Anything new may give us exciting feelings about the opportunity, but it could very well intimidate us with the uncertainty. 

Some of us accept new challenges willingly and are constantly searching for new ways to break our own routines. On the other hand, some of us are perfectly content with our current situations and often shy away from endless possibilities.  For those that lean towards the latter, I'm here to give tips on approaching "the new" in life.

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Many of us dive head first into new experiences, willingly putting ourselves into unfamiliar territory because we love the feeling something new gives us.  Facing new opportunities head on is an important part of life because the lessons we learn push us to grow with each experience, but we don't need to let the excitement of a new thing let us deviate from reality.  

I think back to the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, when I had elaborate plans to start my own online clothing business.  I had great ideas for shirts. I knew exactly the crowd that would be interested in my ideas and I even had already started drawing up my own logo designs.  I had the entrepreneurial spirit in every form and fashion, but what I didn't have was literacy for financial statements, the ability to manage inventory, or a whole lot of capital to start the business.  My pride and enthusiasm interfered with the harsh reality that I wasn't ready to begin the company.

There's nothing wrong with joyful feelings about a new venture in your life.  In fact, I'll be the first to tell you to chase a new obstacle with a positive attitude.  However, sometimes we need to dial back our feelings and think clearly about the new thing into which we're thrusting ourselves.

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For some of us, new ventures take courage.  It takes courage to pick one college out of a possible 5,300.  It takes courage to commit your life in marriage to one person for the rest of your life, only knowing him or her for a couple of years.  It takes courage to interview for your dream job, knowing dozens of others are competing for it.  

Anytime you have to summon courage to overcome a hurdle, you develop more and more bravery.  Imagine the fearless individual you would be if you viewed every stranger as a potential new friend.  Thus, whatever the situation, try it to make a little part of yourself braver than you were the day before.

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New activities and goals in our lives also gives us personal growth.  When we do something unfamiliar, we learn something that perhaps we needed to know in order to better ourselves.  My dad jokes often about his piano skills; after lesson upon lesson, his instructor finally suggested to him that the piano might not be his best route, but he wouldn't have known this if he didn't try.

Maybe if you aren't from Clinton, you'll come here and find new friends, a new passion, or a new church. Although these can be scary, new friends teach you about life, new passions can teach you about yourself, and a new church family can teach you more about Christ. By giving ourselves new jobs, new coursework, or new hobbies, we are able to learn our strengths and weaknesses and ultimately where to prioritize our time and energy.

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Life is full of exciting new adventures for everyone who's willing to answer the call.  My suggestion is that you go for it, whatever "it" is.  Maybe go with the opposite approach; whatever you'd normally do, do the opposite.  You might just need one person to tell you to join that club that you're interested in, to try that wild cuisine you've never had, or to take the job that takes you out of the routine.  To this I say, let me be that person!  In conclusion, heed this advice from admissions counselor Michael Wright: "If you stop learning, you stop living." 

Tyler,
Redrawing the blueprints for my business since I've passed my accounting classes

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