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Are You Who You Want to be?

A new year has come; the old has gone. There’s new challenges to face, new problems to solve, new opportunities to take, new dreams to hold, and much, much more.

As college students, challenges–homework, classes, jobs, etc.–and problems–paying for college, pressure to do well–can bring us down. Sometimes it seems like everything’s against us and there’s no way out of it. It looks like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel: classes, homework, tests, quizzes, exams, papers, jobs, tuition, textbooks, and everything else that go with them.

But, there’s always two ways out: persevering and giving up. Giving up is easy; persevering is hard. Persevering challenges us, giving up doesn’t. Giving up makes life a little easier. Persevering makes life harder.

Giving up means stopping, admitting defeat, and going back to something easier. The going gets too tough for us, so we stop and do things that are easier to do. Easier things that don’t challenge us, raise our expectations, and never push us forward. In their song “Make a Move“, Icon for Hire explains why we don’t do something:

‘Cause everybody’s so scared
We don’t wanna go there
We don’t wanna make a move
We got got all our lives to lose
Screaming in the dark while we just play our part
I’ll play right along
Like I don’t know what’s going on

We give up because, like Icon For Hire stated, we’re scared. We don’t want to go into an area where it’s tough. We’ve got the rest of our lives in front of us. We don’t want to stand out from everybody else. But, we would never get anywhere by staying where we are. We need to go through hard times to get to where we want, could, and should be.

We never get there–we never win–by giving up. We win by persevering–by fighting. Taylor E. Bennet said “True, if you fight, there is always a chance you might lose. But if you do not fight, you can never win.”

There’s always a chance that we could lose–that we could get a bad grade in a class, or have to do a full-time job while taking classes–but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to push ourselves and our expectations. We should always try, even if it’s hard and there seems to be no light at the other side.

We shouldn’t give up because it’s too hard and we’re in a tight place. There always will be light at the end of the tunnel. Harriet Beecher Stowe said

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

The toughest parts is where we usually decide to either give up or go through with it. Those times are the ones that either raise, lower, or keep the same expectations depending on if we give up or persevere. Those times are the ones that challenge us the most, but we shouldn’t give up in those times.

We need to keep going. When we persevere through the hard part, the tide will turn. It gets better after it gets bad. The sun always rises when the night’s over. There will always be light at the end of the tunnel.

Winston Churchill stated in his speech entitled “Never Give In” to:

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

There’s always two ways out of a tunnel–the beginning and the end. Will you go back to the beginning of the tunnel or go to the end? Will you pick the easy way out or the hard way? Will you chose, in tough times, to give up or persevere?

As Switchfoot put in their song “This is Your Life“:

This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, are you who you want to be?
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be?
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

It’s your choice on who you want to be. Are you going to fight to get there? Or are you going to stay where you are–too scared to move? Or are you turning back, giving up on your dream and what everything could be? Will you play your part or are you going to move? Will you persevere or give up trying?

It’s your choice: are you going to give up or persevere? Are you who you want to be?

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About Raise Expectations

R.E. is the founder, admin, and writer on Raise Expectations.

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