Finding Beneficence: To dare greatly
A new school year brings new opportunities for all. It also brings reflection as college comes to a close for some.
It's the first night of the last year of my time here at Ball State University. Tonight, I'm alone. I felt that that needed to happen, so I drove.
Through the darkness of a mid-August night, past the Bell Tower, down University Avenue and over east by the river, I eventually found myself with Benny.
Behind the statue of Beneficence, silhouetted by the lights, and the museum to my right, I shifted into park. The night began to seep in along with the thoughts, playing against the backdrop of crickets and a train's whistle blaring on the night's horizon — the sounds of a world beyond me, going somewhere grand and distant.
It's hard to comprehend that this is the beginning of the end; that here and now, with only myself and Benny, the museum and the train in the distance, I come to think again that my time is draining, being swept away like a beach's sand with each tide.
We spend each day bettering ourselves for work and careers to obtain some monetary value of success, but what life's true currency is is time. No matter what we do, we cannot stop it from fading away as we move forward. But that is what makes it all the more important. Each day in this "college life" is a moment that we have the ability to cherish and make something great out of.
It’s times like these I’m reminded of my first moment at Ball State, when I stood alone in my room for the first time, surrounded by pieces of my past life. The sun streamlined through the window and filled the space, making it seem as though the room was limitless and that the walls extended out until forever. In that moment, just as I am now, I was scared. I was excited. I was full of wonder. Most importantly, though, I was ready to dream of where my life was going, somewhere far and distant.
The reality of these moments, however, is that they are not as grand as we oftentimes see them to be. By the end of my first year, I could feel just how small that room was. The sunlight still shined through the window, but the walls continued to creep in, reminding me that my world was closing in.
I feel that now, as I near graduation and a life of uncertainty, a journey into the unknown. I wonder if I’ll be good enough, if I’ll be able to best the world that I’m given. Here I am in my last year, the final chapter, and I’m having the same thoughts as everyone else. Maybe others are wondering what their first year of college will be like, if they’ll be good enough to cut it at this stage. Maybe we’re all a little scared of the future. But maybe, just like that train on the horizon -- maybe we’re headed for somewhere grand and distant.
It doesn't matter where we are in this life, be it our first day, or our final moment when we say goodbye to everything we’ve created here. What matters is what we believe in. What matters is if we are willing to dare greatly.
That first night of my last year was one of those moments where I wished I could pause time, stop the earth from spinning, just so that I could hold on to it for a second longer. In a way, that yearning to stop time represented my emotions and hopes of this thing we call the college experience. Oftentimes we find ourselves weighed down by the monotony of our daily struggles. But what this time is truly about, what this chapter of our lives means, is to live fully and to dare greatly, to dream without borders and to push reality's limits. In moments like that one, the one that I found Beneficence in, I remember to dream.