If you had to pick one word that perfectly describes your 2016 year, what would it be?
For me, that word was “change.” Why that one in particular?
Entering January 2016, I was going through a flux of emotions, centering around dissatisfaction, frustration, and sadness.
Dissatisfaction of how the college experience was turning into a mundane process of showing up to classes, heading to the library for study hours, and making the trip home when the day was done.
Frustration at how it seemed as though things were slowly falling apart, and that I was doing nothing about it.
Sadness from how I had dedicated so much time on something last semester, only to be told that is was not good enough.
Something had to change, and for the next twelve months, I had my sights set on making sure 2016 was not going to be about me feeling sorry for all the missed opportunities.
That meant getting more involved, and paying my dues to a campus that took a chance on me when others turned a cold shoulder.
That meant opening the door to more calculated risks, and perhaps even a bit of vulnerability.
That meant taking each day one step at a time, and making sure to continually stay true to the personal values instilled in me.
And you know what?
It actually worked.
From taking part in a business organization on campus known as BIA, to campaigning for a position in Associated Students, to being hired as a tutor for the Jack Holland Success Center, to receiving an offer from a former professor to be her student assistant, each one was just the right medicinal remedy.
Taking part in BIA strengthened my perspective on the importance of creating bonds and maintaining a healthy working relationship. For as former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson once said, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
Running for a board position in Associated Students — and becoming a representative in October — reminded me that life was about what you could contribute to benefit others. There may have been individuals in the past who took advantage of you for this, but that should not mean everyone else suffers the consequences from those folks’ actions. As former baseball player Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
And in being a tutor and student assistant, I was reminded of personal worth. While I failed to see the best in myself, there were those who did. They conveyed that genuine belief through various methods. From expressing to me about the quality work being produced, to making me as their personal tutor, to sending “thank you” text messages for the assistance in passing a class, they all communicated the same memo of appreciation for the effort and work that I did to make their days slightly better.
For those three main life events and much more, I feel extremely blessed.
So before the year comes to a close, let me express to you, 2016, my sincerest gratitude by saying thanks.
Thanks for helping me back up on my feet.
Thanks for introducing into my life all the incredible people who provided me with such care, kindness, and support.
Thanks for everything, 2016.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the writer are solely his, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Associated Students.