Reach for the Stars – Or Run for Them

By Melissa Sweredoski, Junior

Reach for the stars. Be successful. Make it happen. Keep going. Sounds easy, right?

Well the reality of life is that nothing worth having comes easy. College is a time to push ourselves more than we ever have- academically, emotionally, and even physically. We are told that we are young, motivated and capable of anything. While High Point University creates a very inspiring environment to make all of our wildest dreams come true, the truth is that there is a lot of work that goes into making your dreams a reality.

Being enrolled in the Strategic Communication B.A. to M.A. program, I was able to participate in a discussion about motivation during a project in my Persuasion Theories class. We explored what makes people tick and how to stay on track to reach your goals.

After reflecting on these books, I realized the tactics they introduce are ones that HPU has already taught me and, in fact, ones that I had just recently applied.

Running has always been a passion for me. I decided to take my passion to the next level by signing up for a half marathon just a few months ago. As soon as I signed up, doubt filled my mind. I have had two ankle reconstructive surgeries. To top that off, I had never actually run 13.1 miles. How would I complete this goal? I only had a month until the race.

After a few minutes of worrying, I realized that I had all the skills I needed to complete this challenge. In President Qubein’s Freshman Seminar class, we learned how to set goals and organize our time. This lesson, in conjunction with the tips I learned in my Persuasion Theories class, allowed me to take the first steps to finish a half marathon.

  1. Find your motivation- What drives you? Find something inside of you that makes you compelled to do more.
  2. Make a plan- Map out the steps it takes to get where you want to be. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your goals won’t be reached overnight.
  3. Be realistic- After figuring out your plan, make sure you only conquer one step at a time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  4. Celebrate your victories- You’re taking the steps to get where you want. Love yourself for that! Make sure you take the time to congratulate yourself when you complete a step. Little victories culminate to huge success!
  5. Rally support- Don’t be afraid to lean on others. Make sure those around you are positive and on board with your goals. One day, you might be able to help them with their own goals.

When put in place, these steps lead to success. I finished third for females in my first ever half marathon. While part of me thought I wouldn’t finish the race, I had a quiet confidence telling me that I did what I could to reach my goals, and I would finish no matter what, so I would be fine.

Everyday we are faced with challenges. The skills we have learned here at High Point University serve as a base to tackle any problem and reach any goals. Whatever it is that you want to do- run a half marathon, ace your finals, get an internship- apply the steps and lessons you’ve learned on this campus and success will be right around the corner. Don’t settle for average, be extraordinary.

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