College Crisis: Courage

Our college years are full of dramatic “I’m not a grown up!” moments- mostly unexpected, and typically unwanted. Anonymous Valley writers discuss it all, from avoiding basic responsibilities to dealing with the big, bad future. Let’s talk about it.


A new semester has arrived at Penn State, allowing us all the benefits of a clean slate and a fresh start. For some of us, this means trying harder in our studies. For others, it could be the opportunity to mend a broken relationship from the past. Whatever our resolutions may be, there is something important we have to remember to carry with us along the way: courage.

No matter how old I am, or how long my resume gets, I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to shake my fear of incompetency. In my head, there will always be someone who is better, smarter and skinnier than I am. But, as semesters pass and time moves on, my confidence continues to grow, allowing me to see that what may have been standing in my way the entire time weren’t my lack of qualifications but my lack of courage.

With time and practice, I’ve learned to put myself out there in the classroom, my organizations, and in matters of the heart. There are times I find great success and also times I face rejection. But, what’s most important isn’t what I won or lost or who I scored a date with. It’s my courage to go for things in the first place which keep me from giving up. While it may sound cheesy, courage is the key to surviving in this crazy place we call college. As we learn and grow during these four years, we’re bound to hit more obstacles, setbacks and rejection than any other time of our lives. Our courage is determined by whether we decide give up and accept defeat or keep going despite all odds.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you”. This act could be applying for the dream job you’ve always wanted but never thought you could get. It may even be as simple as finding the confidence to text your crush first. Courage, and acts that require it will be different for all of us. It’s our ability to forge ahead and take risks that will keep us going.

In the end, those who keep going win.

Photo by Grace Shyu

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