The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock family should reflect on past year

Another academic year has come and gone. For some students this was the first year of college, while it served as a farewell tour for others before starting a new chapter in their lives. The end of the spring semester is a great time to think back and reflect on everything that’s happened over the past year. Whether you cruised through effortlessly or struggled valiantly during the year (or a combination both), there are always lessons to be gleaned from the various experiences of university life.

Reflection on the past school year allows us to realize how blessed we are, cherish the friendships we have made and see where we can benefit from a healthy dose of self-improvement. The incredible and almost endless opportunities available to us at USC, many of which are unavailable anywhere else, should fill us with a sense of gratitude.

As I contemplate the depth of privilege bestowed upon me from just attending this amazing university, my thoughts begin to wander to all of the other things I am thankful for in life: the strength of family, my expanding education and our cohesive Gamecock family and the impact my friends and professors have had on my life.

Sometimes, in the fast-paced college lifestyle, we get caught up in being constantly stressed, worried and frantic. When that happens, we tend to lose perspective and start to think about all of the worst-case scenarios and what will happen if we fall short of an “A” in a class or if we don’t get the schedule we want.

The power of reflection cannot be understated as it opens up our perspective. Problems that seemed gargantuan, such as a low grade or a date gone bad, rarely turn out to have been the hearkening of the apocalypse but rather just bumps in the road of life. In addition, perspective allows us to see all of the opportunities we missed to help others and where we could have made a difference.

For so many of us, we blindly run the race of the school year, often getting so caught up looking to the future at the finish line that we miss some of the experiences the race has to offer. So I encourage you, as the school year comes to an end, to look back and evaluate what you did this past year.

Look back and see where you could have made someone’s day with a simple act of kindness but didn’t for whatever reasons of hurriedness, inconvenience or self-doubt. Appreciate the moments when you did make time for others, and make a commitment to go the extra mile next year.
Gamecock family, I ask you look to the future and promise yourself you will not get so focused on the finish line that you miss the race.