A Letter to College Students from a College Student

Dear friends,

We are all in school because we believe we have the potential to be something that is greater than ourselves. We believe that we have the capacity to learn something new so that we can contribute something of value to the world.

And in the midst of this journey we face many trials and tribulations. Some things we can’t control: the loss of a loved one, bad news on something important, or maybe difficulty with things at home. Some things we bring on ourselves: a fight with a colleague, failing a class, or perhaps a foolish decision that ended in wreckage.

Despite all of these things, one thing is for sure. We all go through them. We all face these challenges in life. And we all have the capacity to overcome them.

We have all set ourselves on a path of purpose. A path to do something of significance for our world. To contribute to those who have not been blessed with the opportunity we have.

We will be creators, innovators, and be active in the shaping of our world. We have a duty to the rest of the world to be the absolute best that we can be. Even when the crappy things in life start to weigh us down. We have to come out of it.

I’ve had the honor to talk with so many of you. Those of you who have families to take care of, those of you who are struggling with putting yourself through school, those of you who have lost loved ones, the ones who feel like the world doesn’t understand them, or the ones with families thousands of miles away, and the list goes on and on. And all of you should know that what you have to offer the world and the potential within you is literally limitless. There is nothing stopping us from succeeding except ourselves.

This letter comes at a time in my life where I have gone through my own challenges, sometimes hurting those closest to me. And I express this in the midst of my challenge with excitement for my future. As I encourage myself, I too want to encourage you. I don’t pretend to know more than I do. But I do know that like you, I am a young student with big ambitions and big dreams and I know many of you share this with me. Some of you are proud of them and some of you are shy about it.

But for the sake of all those whose dreams are crushed because of where they live or circumstances beyond their control, let us embrace our opportunity to pursue ours and go the extra mile and find the strength to overcome our challenges, to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and honor those loved ones we may have lost and for those who will depend on us in the future. For all of these reasons, let us strive to be great and do great work because the future is filled with possibilities and it’s up to us to seize them.

Your colleague,

Sean Joyner

ferris wheel

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