by Bruce Hedgepeth, M.D.
Many of the popular television shows and movies that do well seem to have catchy little jingles or opening songs that catch on with the pop culture crowd. Those jingles or songs either help to make the show a success or are a success because the show is popular. It can be difficult to define that relationship at times; the old chicken or the egg debate, right? Likely they are synergistic and contribute to the popularity together.
The old ‘80’s and early 90’s television show Cheers started with a catchy opening jingle that included the words “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got; taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.” Well, as a college student can I get an “amen” to that? For all of us who have procrastinated, crammed, worried, sweated, and burned a late night study candle once or twice in our lives can we change the wording to “Making your way in college today takes everything you’ve got; taking a break from all your studies sure would help a lot.”?
If that is you too then welcome to the experience of the majority of college and university students. Can I even suggest using that notoriously problematic word “all” when referencing the entire student population that ever was or ever will be? On that note, do you think Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, or Da Vinci struggled to make it all work together seamlessly as students?
It is my hope that you have found, or are finding the direction, curriculum, and degree that fits who you are and who and what you want to do and become. If you have nailed it, then good for you. If you are in the midst of finding it in the near future, then good for you too. Perhaps you have it all planned out and all is going according to that plan. In other words, you are planning your work and working your plan.
Maybe you are earnestly still looking for that elusive thing to nail. If so, then I hope that the search is fruitful and coming to an end.
But what if you aren’t so sure or things haven’t gone quite like you wanted them to go or how you thought they would go? What if there has been an unexpected academic challenge or hurdle that has thrown you off course? That can set the stage for unsettling circumstances and issues for sure; bringing on unwanted and unneeded anxiety and doubt. Now what? Where do you turn, what do you do, and what does it all mean?
Well, here is what I have learned in my life, in my academic endeavors, and in my time at Evangel University: there are people all around you that love you, that support you, that want you to succeed, and love the fact that you are at EU. Those people actually do want to help you in any way that they can. But who are those people you ask? For starters they are your friends and family and loved ones of all kinds. Many of those people are in your lives on a daily basis and you interact with them frequently. But maybe you haven’t see it that way — yet.
Moreover, those that want you to succeed also include the faculty, support staff, and administrators here at Evangel. These people are on your side and are pulling for you in a big, big way. And do you know why that is? To be honest, first and foremost, it’s because they draw their strength from the Lord where love, compassion, and caring begins. Secondly, they are in the “people” business and the students are the “people” that we are concerned about. Thirdly, when the students succeed then we get some of our greatest joy and greatest reward, and a part of us grows and goes along with you.
We are all in the same boat with you; with each other. Furthermore, to be brutally honest, we have had similar experiences that you have had, be it in academics or in life. Those experiences consist of successes and failures. We also know how it feels to face adversity, uncertainty and trying times. If you do not believe me, just go ask one of your professors about a time when things did not go so well or work out well for them. Likely they will have to pause to choose from several different stories or situations. I include myself in that group too. We all have a story, some funny and some not so much. That is why that I say that we are in the boat with you; in good times and bad.
My advice if times are tough and uncertain is to lean on those around you; seek wisdom and Godly counsel from those you trust, and do not be afraid to ask for help in looking at any problem in a new light.
Making your way in college today sure does take a lot; but now you’re sure that you’ve got that shot!
Now get back to studying. STAT!
Bruce is happy to be a part of the education experience at EU. The process of personal growth and learning in the university environment is an exciting adventure.