Never Stopping And Going Forward
I could have skipped that cookie, read that book, worked out more, took better care of my teeth or whatever else I typically regret.
There are bigger life events that have also caused me feelings of stress and emotional discontent.
Yet through it all, I'm currently happy.
Happy because I feel I've helped represent Penn State in a positive manor.
Happy because, for the past two and half years, I have felt the entire Penn State community push.
The athletes, the students, the administrators, the professor's, the people who call State College home; all of them have pushed back against the world.
Over the past two years we've been told how we were what was wrong with the college landscape, that we valued greed and football revenue at the expense of human decency.
Overwhelmingly, we have responded with some of the best efforts that we have ever seen.
And in more than just football.
We've won championships in Wrestling and Volleyball.
We've garnered praise as a University, one that teaches professional level skill with a balance of morals and integrity. That which balances enjoyment of life with the practicalities of the world beyond.
We've won as humanitarians as The Team Ream Foundation and Tim Shaw's very public plea for help to fight medical ailments.
I've won individually as I've grown as a person on multiple levels.
Now seems like a good time to rest. To revel and be satisfied with the results of the past couple of years work. That our new coach and heralded quarterback will undoubtedly put Penn State back at the top and that everything will be fine.
But we cannot compromise ourselves now. We must push forward, maintain the lofty standards we've set, if not improve upon them. Reach with passion and will to achieve the things we want to achieve. It can be difficult, as life will certainly deal unexpected blows to one's psyche. Yet I refuse to let the outcome of past events and circumstances beyond my control determine my entire future.
Life to me is about energy and momentum. When some of the worst things imaginable happen, it can be easy to spiral that momentum in a negative fashion. The challenge is to adjust and make not only your world better, but better for those around you. Turn that pain or disappointment into fuel to accomplish your other goals.
Penn State and the surrounding community, however, has positive momentum, and we would be foolish right now to squander it by becoming lethargic and content. As a new wave of freshmen come in, as new staffs are assembled, look not only to your own interests but to the interests of others. Protect one another, learn from another, and work together for a world free of the carnage built by hate. We want to live in an educated and free world, a world that's civil and healthy.
We won't fear the spotlight; in fact, we secretly want it. So that when the world turns its attention to this small town in the middle of nowhere they see the best there is to offer. Not just in equipment and facilities, not just in our athletic teams, but in ALL the people that make up this little place we call home.
We've accomplished much so far. But there is always more to reach for. Don't stop now.