Itâ€™s hard for me to believe that in less than two weeks, I will be receiving my fourth degree from CSU and may be finished with schooling forever. Itâ€™s hard to believe the changes that have happened in the last five years and the self-discovery that has occurred.
Four years ago, I wrote my first column for the Collegian. Since that time, Iâ€™ve had nearly 60 columns published, and itâ€™s helped me to realize one thing.
You must have passion. I donâ€™t think it really matters what you are passionate about, as long as there is something. I know the times that I have been really passionate about an issue are when I write my best material.
Passion allows you to set goals and go after your dreams. There are times when people will tell you that you canâ€™t do something. Maybe they donâ€™t think you have the motivation or know what you are doing.
Hereâ€™s the thing, though: You may not know what you are doing. However, if you are willing to learn and take some risks, you can have some remarkable experiences.
You cannot be afraid of failure. Donâ€™t plan to fail but realize that it is a possibility and prepare yourself for the worst. When you do fail, and it will happen, pick yourself back up and keep going.
Donâ€™t quit. Sometimes life is tough, but your true character shows through when you persevere. If anything, you will learn how to deal with tough problems and show that you can stay dedicated. It also shows your passion for whatever it is you were trying to accomplish.
This attitude can be very empowering. There have been countless nights when Iâ€™ve wondered if it was all worth it. Sometimes when I read the comments people post on my column Iâ€™m appalled at the hatred in the words and the downright nastiness some people have.
However, when these moments come, I think about all the people who supported me: my family, my friends and my peers. I know that without that support system it can be hard to keep going.
I felt that because of my love for agriculture and my passion for the industry, I must not give up. I knew that even though people didnâ€™t always agree with me, if I can bring an issue up that people may not have known existed the way it does, I have done my job.
At the end of the day, you always wonder whether or not you made a difference. To me, the key is this: If you helped one person in some way that day, you made a difference.
The differences you make donâ€™t have to be monumental. Something as simple as opening a door for an elderly adult, helping a friend study for a test or volunteering your time at a charity can make a huge difference, even though you may not see it.
I know that at some point I have made a difference in someoneâ€™s life. More importantly, though, I can see those that have made a difference in mine.
My animal science undergraduate advisor has helped shape my goals and what I was able to do during college and supported and encouraged me every step of the way. Even though my parents didnâ€™t always understand my decisions, they stood behind them. My friends and other family members helped me to stay focused, while also letting me have some fun.
I truly believe the people that have influenced my life have done so for one simple reason â€“â€“ they were passionate about my success. Be that person for someone else and for your industry. You never know the difference you are making.
Robyn Scherer is a graduate student studying integrated resource management. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.