This campus is way overdue for a pep talk. My intention is not to discourage you, but to give you motivation. I don’t have it all together, but I busted my butt in high school to get here. I believe that I struggled, failed, and succeeded for a reason.

This is college, not high school. You have entered an entirely new and different arena full of endless possibilities. Your high school status is non-existent, so leave it alone if you hated who you were in high school. No one said you had to bring it with you, and if they did, it’s a lie. Take the good from your past and leave the bad behind.

Hold fast to who you are and walk to the beat of your own drum. You’re not here to take an imaginary class like Discover Your Purpose 101. You’ve been enrolled from the very beginning. This is just another chapter to help further and broaden the perspective of your journey.

If you feel an atmosphere of “I don’t care” and negativity around campus, don’t partner with it. Negativity has a dark ripple effect that breeds scary monsters like depression and self-pity.

Even if the cost of education was not on your mind in high school, college is different. Students often use phrases like, “You don’t have to buy the books for this class—it’s super easy.” Although this may be true, I have a question for you: Why are you here if you are not going to participate?

You are ripping yourself off. Stop wasting your opportunities and someone’s hard-earned money that was invested in you, your dreams, future, and greatest potential. Of course, money can be misused and thrown all over the place in college, but a chance to learn and participate cannot be missed. We are all given the easy option of “just passing,” but do you want to carry your attitude of “just passing” out of ENC and into your life?

That’s the real world out there and we are in here training for it. Buy the books, do your work, show up to class on time, bring a pen and paper, take notes, and listen. Work together with your friends and hold one another accountable. Reach out to those who have gone before you for wisdom and guidance. We have some amazing professors here who believe in you. Make a change and begin to prepare for something greater.