Today: Apr 14, 2024

Words of wisdom for your last hurrah

Chardonee’ WrightStaff Writer

As any other graduating senior, “graduation nerves” are beginning to settle into my stomach. With almost three weeks left of this semester, I have more than enough to be thankful for. Blood, sweat and tears have gone into this undergraduate matriculation.

When I first graduated high school back in 2007, I never would have thought I would finish the race here at Southern. I started my journey at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. for two years. Upon going into my junior year, I had to transfer home and attend Gateway for a year until I was able to transition into Southern. Despite the many moves, obstacles and extra year of undergraduate courses, I must say it was all worth it. Of course I can look back at my matriculation and point out everything that did not go my way and what went wrong, but what is the point? Too many times I believe we focus on what went wrong and what could have happened, rather than being thankful of how God worked everything out for the good.

It definitely wasn’t easy transitioning back home after I had been on my own for two years, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. While I was in the circumstance, I was very upset because I really wanted to finish my degree in journalism at MSU. Yet, as I reflect, I can honestly admit that I’ve always made the best of my situations.

MSU is a historically black college where I was exposed to African Diaspora studies and met many affluent black professors, educators, reporters, writers, artists, videographers and producers. The list goes on and on, but I am truly thankful I was allowed the opportunity to soak in the wisdom and knowledge of many remarkable men and women.

As a journalism student, MSU was where I first learned how to work a video camera, produce a TV show, interview people, monitor a control board, learn how to adjust microphones, learn how to control audio in a studio and white balance a camera. I was having so much fun learning everything. Similarly, as I came to Southern, I took on the challenge of taking four “plus” journalism classes per semester in order to get a head start as a transfer student. That was pretty intense.

There were many times when I became frustrated and stressed, and I wanted to throw in the towel because I was being challenged. Despite the challenges, the motivation and encouragement from my journalism professors began to birth and mold this beautiful writing craft out of me that I wasn’t able to recognize in myself. Many times I had to rewrite news stories because of grammar or punctuation mistakes which can at first seem discouraging. I was challenged to look at my writing—which I thought was fine— and reflect and correct my mistakes. Doing so taught me patience. At this point, I made up in my mind that giving up was not an option.

Not only was I taking two intensive writing classes per semester, I bravely took on Professor Dunklee’s TV and radio classes. His classes were hands-on and required us journalism babies to be thrown “in the fire’ and learn from our mistakes. I am so glad I was able to take knowledge and learn from both universities. No longer do I look at my undergraduate journey as a long, drawn out path, but I reflect on many wonderful opportunities and doors opened to me because of this road.

I wrote this entry to say this: maybe you are a transfer student who has been through the hassle of transferring into a new school. Don’t worry about a thing. I’m reminded of the scripture, Matthew 6:27 (NIV) which states, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” The answer is no one can. If you focus on your problem more than your solution, you are losing, my dear. Train your mind to focus on positive outcomes rather than stressing over problems that are presented to you. Have faith in God because there is always an answer to every problem. Bad grades? Study harder the next time around. Problems with financial aid? Research scholarships and sit down with a financial aid adviser who can help you.

Wasted time is produced from stress and worry because after you are done with a mini tantrum, the problem still exists. Challenges will arise. That is life, so get used to it. But be the person who is optimistic about curve balls thrown your way. Let nothing by any means disturb your peace of mind. That is where the battle is anyway. Your mind is a battlefield. Your brain is where you rationalize, make decisions and where thoughts are created.

The great thing about brains is that we all have control over our own. Don’t let anyone undermine you, take advantage of you or talk down to you because everyone has the ability for greatness no matter what race, age, or part of town they grew up in. There is hidden talent inside of you. Sometimes all you need is for someone to draw those talents out of you. While you are in school, make the best of every opportunity because there are some people who wish they could get an education but can’t.

As a graduating senior, I thank from the bottom of my heart Professor Cindy Simoneau, Professor Jerry Dunklee and Professor Frank Harris, all great educators who were genuine, kind and patient with me. I want them to know that their time has not been in vain, and they will see the fruits of their labor. The time and effort all of these amazing journalism professors have sowed into many students beside myself is something they should be proud of. As for all other students, continue to press toward the goal. Every day, you are one step closer to that prize.

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