Fisher College has become one of my favorite colleges to visit over the years. In the past 2 years I've been invited to speak at Fisher 3 times, and each time I grow more affection for the students, faculty and overall mission of the school. It's always an honor to be able to take part in their freshman orientation for "Welcome Week".
Our relationship began on the Decision 2016 Tour where I spoke on the topic of voter awareness. I was then asked to return that year to speak at their freshman orientation and it has been an honor since.
I like to say I prepare with a message for my talks but not rehearse. I let the topic come natural through my daily awareness and evolution. This years topic was based around opportunity.
It struck me that week how so much of who we are and what we become is based off opportunities we squander or take advantage of. The key awareness of recognizing your opportunity as a direct link of your particular set of circumstances can be eye opening for many. The earlier we recognize our opportunities based on the advantages and disadvantages that some of those most closest to us bear witness to, can help use gather an internal jolt of pride to honor the ones before us who have paved the way for the opportunities that are upon us.
I guess for me immirgating here with teenage parents and knowing the story of those who have made opportunities for others through selfless sacrifice has always made me want to capitalize on the opportunities those generations made for me to get here.
For some college is no big deal. They come from generations of scholars and have been in America all their lives. For others, the opportunity in itself to go to college is a big deal for them and their family. It was a big deal for me and I recognized it was because it was bigger than me. People had put their life on the line to give me this shot and I was gonna do something about it.
We all have cousins, brothers, sisters, friends who for whatever reason or at many times, out of their control never receive the opportunity for progressive direction. There are also those who with all the essentials tools manage to under achieve.
By realizing your opportunity for what it is can give you the persistence you need to shine through your circumstances.
We talked about how to create your opportunites through networking and your sphere of influence a.k.a "the company you keep". How many of us can say we have not prospered from relationships from those in positions elevate us in one shape or form?
As I looked at the attentiveness of the students, I saw a look in their eyes that told me my words were resognating in a very personal way.
Our Q/A session that followed was hard but fun. Hard because these "kids" hit me with some tough, intelligent questions! A few times I had to double check to make sure I was speaking with freshman. The fun part of this comes from the students willingness to open up and share a bit of themselves. No questions go unanswered.
As we left parting ways with hugs and handshakes I couldnt help but be reminded of my own mindset as a freshman. I was scared, excited, hopeful and determined. Being scared came from the not knowing what to expect. My excitement came from all the people to meet, and new things to experience. I was very hopeful for the future that played ahead of me, I was now a college student! The determination would carry me those next 4 years making use of every opportunity college had to offer.
I can only hope leaving there that afternoon, they felt the same way I did as a freshman.
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