The Opportunity Stick
One thing that I've noticed as my time at Case has quickly progressed is that with each day, you become more and more independent. The things you do, the decisions you make, the people you meet. They all have an effect on who you're going to be in the future. What your parents want and expect from you slowly fades away into background noise. It's all you now. And with that, there's never been a better opportunity to grow, to take your life by the reins and steer it into the way you want it, and here are the events that have helped me make these realizations.
It began with a fashion show for breast cancer. One of my good friends asked me to go to help her take photos. I've never attended a fashion show before. Basically, what happened was, I agreed to go despite the fact that saying so was a bit out of my comfort zone. We were then invited to dinner with two of her friends in the industry. We tagged along, and I could safely say that the two people that I met that evening completely changed the way I saw things.
The first one was a successful sales man and an owner of a t-shirt design company. He grew up in a less than ideal household, but still managed to get himself into Cleveland Institute of Art with just about all the scholarships and awards out there. He ended up dropping out of school to become a successful business man working in sales. I've always been taught that your education is the most important investment you could ever make. Here was a man who was able to make enough money to not think twice about buying his mother and sister cars, as well as start up a t-shirt design company so he could pursue his love for art. He did all this without a college degree.
The second person I dined with was a model in the fashion show. After observing the conversations during dinner, I learned that she was an actress as well. She was coming out with two movies, and her face was plastered on countless advertisements and magazines. She was, in every sense of the word, famous. Although I didn't get to learn about her background as in depth, I did learn that she defied the stereotypes of her culture. She was headstrong, and willing to break away from others like her. She worked hard and rose quickly in the industry. She too was successful.
Now, at this point of the night, as I'm savoring the taste of the kobe burger in my mouth, I was completely awed by their stories, their persona. How could these two people be so successful, yet so young, especially in this economy. I was suddenly slapped across the face by the opportunity stick. Here I was chewing on this delicious burger when I could have been learning from these two individuals. Two individuals who were successful, completely in charge with their own lives, and pretty much where I wanted to be in the future. With that, I began to pick their brains. I learned so much from those conversations. I took away numerous life lessons, but ultimately, I took advantage of the opportunity that presented itself.
How could I have been able to meet these people, talk with them, have dinner with them? Opportunity. That's what you get in college that you don't get anywhere else in your life. Sure you can say you can get a quality education, or friends that you'll have throughout your lives, but it's the opportunities that life presents you during this crucial period in your life that makes college so worthwhile. It is, however, another thing to notices these opportunities when they walk right beside. It takes courage, it takes a large personal bubble. You'll soon realize that it'll be worth it.
So that's what college really is. It's more than the friends, the fun. It's more than getting a good college degree. It's all about opportunity and what you make of it. It's about growing, letting these opportunities shape you for success.