Being at LMU is one of the greatest privileges any person could ask for. Every day I woke up on the Bluff felt like waking up in a five-star resort. This kind of luxury—made even better by LMU’s first-class education— can make life almost tediously perfect. It makes it that much harder when we struggle.
Even in this most beautiful place, things are bound to go wrong. Whether on a grand scale or a personal level, adversity is inevitable. We fight tooth and nail to avoid it, yet it always finds a way.
Adversity can be crippling. We’ve all experienced that gut-wrenching feeling of having to go home to a roommate after a minor quarrel: It’s enough to make you go crazy. Yet, in my time at LMU, I think what I’ve learned most is that adversity—as horrible as it is—is the most important education we can get.
There are so many types of struggles. Some are life-and-death and others are only momentary, but they all teach us something. No matter how bad what we are going through is, sitting there and hoping it goes away doesn’t do anything. Giving up doesn’t do anything. It is only by acting that we can make it go away.
Take the classic example of failing a test. We as a generation seem to have a natural instinct to blame it on an external problem: the professor didn’t teach us, the test was too hard, we have other classes to study for...but none of that matters. Complaining about it may feel good (and it’s a totally valid thing to do) but at some point we have to look inward and work within our limits to fix what went wrong. Instead of bashing the professor online or dropping the class out of frustration, find more time to study, or go to office hours or ask a friend for help.
Face the adversity head-on.
In my college experience, I learned the most when I did just this. I struggled many times with many things, and that handful of times that I worked up the courage to fight back, those are the moments I am most proud of. Those are the moments that taught me more than anything else.
Life is going to punch us down. That is inevitable. Yet those punches don’t need to knock us out: We can make them mere scratches on our long and healthy lives.
Fall in love with LMU every day, fall in love with your friends every day, fall in love with your classes every day and most importantly, fall in love with your struggles every day. They are just chances to grow.