Perserverance is a young man’s game

Ian Leonard

Full disclosure, I’m pretty steamed at the moment. I’ve had a couple things not go my way lately and, like most other people, it’s starting to get to me. This is coming from somebody who, if nothing else, likes to believe he can keep a cool head in most situations. But I can tell, maybe better than anyone else, when I’m reaching the boiling point. I hate it. My voice gets shaky, my limbs weak, I become significantly less coherent and worst of all, I seem to lose all capacity for reason. So what right? Is it wrong to be passionate, even extremely so? Well no of course not, as a matter of fact I think it’s great if you care so much about something that it affects you on multiple levels. But this isn’t about how you feel on the inside, but rather how you project those feelings and ideas to those around you when your patience is wearing thin.

Like I said beforehand, there’s certainly nothing wrong with caring. Personally, I believe if you don’t have at least one thing, in which you are extremely invested, you need to go find it. Whether that be your studies, a hobby, sports, philanthropy or even another person (though I don’t recommend it this early in your life), it’s important that we all have something that we feel gives us purpose. However, like many things in this world, those things that give us the greatest pleasures, also have the potential for causing us the greatest harm and distress. And as dramatic as it may sound, it’s almost inevitable that you will feel frustrated, hurt maybe even betrayed by someone or something that you’ve devoted your time and effort to.

That’s where your character comes in. You see, most of us are at a dynamic and formative moment in our lives. We’re starting careers, forging relationships that could last a lifetime, some of us are still even trying to figure out who we are and what we want out of life. Like I said, many of us are still trying to find our passion or purpose in life, so it’s only natural we may get frustrated when we start to feel like things aren’t going quite as planned. However it’s important to consider what kind of person you want to be. There are going to be times where you feel as if your only option is to quit, but you have to think about the others around you may be letting down and above all else you have to make sure you aren’t cheating yourself out of a chance to grow and gain some valuable experience.

Now of course you shouldn’t force yourself into doing something you really don’t want to do. Sometimes you’ll find that something simply may not be for you and if really do feel that way, you should simply move on to your next endeavor. I’m simply suggesting that before you consider giving up on anything, you should really take a step back and contemplate all of the possibilities and consequences of your actions. You may find that, even though a certain activity may be tough right now, further down the road you’ll truly benefit from having experienced this hardship.

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide how you spend your time and talents. There are plenty of wonderful things to dedicate yourself to and college is a perfect chance for you to gain tons of diverse and unique experiences. However, it may prove useful to thoroughly exploring each option before you move on or give up.