Letter from the Editor: Just keep swimming, freshman
I, many years ago, was like you. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, 18-year-old me couldn’t wait to embark on the first leg of my adult life. That was back in 2014 and, as time would go on to show, I was wholly unprepared for the college experience. One academic suspension and a three-year stint in the army later, I returned to finish my degree.
Nine years might seem like a long time, but it goes by way faster than you’d think. One day you’re a dumb kid having fun, next you’re an adult with a car note, bills and people are asking you about someone named Roth who has something to do with the IRA.
What you are about to embark on is an adventure; a journey that will test the limits of your ability to grow. It will not be easy, the path is fraught with danger, but determination and a genuine belief in yourself are the guiding lights that will see you through the challenges ahead.
In the near decade I’ve spent working to become who I am today, one phrase has stood out above all others: “Just keep swimming.” A brutal fact about life is that it’s sink-or-swim. Friends, family, your network — they can help you float, but they can’t make you swim.
Swimming is more than just keeping your head above water. In order to swim, you need a destination. I don’t mean some pithy, general goal like “I want to graduate.” I mean something real, something big. Something that has the potential to leave a lasting impact on the world long after you’re gone.
Sure, we all want to graduate, but ask yourself why. What are you going to do with your degree? If your answer is “make money,” then I’m sorry, but you’re just treading water.
I’m not saying we all have to be paupers, either. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make money. If you let that be your sole motivating factor when considering your future, however, then I will have no sympathy for you when you open your eyes at 40 and realize your life lacks meaning.
UH may not be the most prestigious or well-known university in the world, but it’s more than most people get. With that in mind, consider your future not in terms of personal gain but in what you can offer the world. It’s easy to think that you’re just another drop in the bucket, but you have more potential than you know.
As an aspiring journalist, I believe that everyone has a story. Right now, what you’re doing is writing the first few chapters of that story. The choices you make and the people you surround yourself with will decide the direction you swim in and ultimately, the final chapter of your story.