School year starts with optimism

By Angelina Labonne
Managing Editor

Students leave the Atrium on August 22, the first day of school. (Echo Photo by Seth Boyum)

As the start of a new school year enters our lives and we load up our backpacks, stock up on supplies, buy our overpriced textbooks, and set our alarms, we as students will be confronted with challenges, old and new.

We have been studying for tests since we were old enough to understand what a test was, and we are always striving to get good grades. Maybe more recently we are trying to get into RCTC’s competitive nursing program or maybe even branching out and trying new things we never thought we could do.

But why do we push ourselves to do all these things? Why is it all so important to us? Isn’t it because above all we are just trying to be successful? We as students naturally want success, but what does success look like?

Several students and staff  on campus who attended Student Success Day on Aug. 31 were asked what success looked like to them.

“Success is reaching your goals no matter how long it takes you,” said Tiffiny Tlusty, a first-year nursing program student, while Kelly Erpelding thought that success was, “coming away from an experience with more knowledge than you had before and being able to use it to think critically.”

Both opinions are good reminders that college doesn’t happen the way we plan;  sometimes it takes failing or choosing a new path to discover who we were really meant to be, and that it is all a learning experience that helps us make better decisions in the future.

One student, Ross Withington, defines success as “having great relationships with family and friends,” and Louis Garcia, a digital marketing specialist in the College Relations Department, follows along the same path by saying, “Success is about following what makes you happy … money is the least important thing.”

For these guys success is less about knowledge and goals and more about the self-fulfillment and happiness that the journey to success provides.  Success looked different for each one of these students and it probably looks even different for you, but one thing everyone can agree on is that success is founded through hard work, dedication, asking questions, and simply showing up.

This year is your year to be successful, no matter if it is your second try taking that anatomy and physiology class, or trying to build new relationships as a freshman in college. Success doesn’t mean that this year will be easy, or that there will not be difficult lectures and annoying group assignments along the way. You will have to find drive and motivation within yourself to obtain your vision of success this year.

So as we embark on this 2016-2017 school year together, let us set new goals, try new things, show up to classes physically and mentally, talk to that person that sits next to us every day in lecture, and not look back at the student we once were but instead the student we can be.

Welcome, fellow classmates, to what promises to be our most successful year yet.

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