“We often forget that the struggle is an opportunity to make us stronger.”
These were the words spoken to us by former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, at our recent World Leader’s Forum. As I consider this year’s theme of experience I realize that her words basically describe what experience is: opportunities that make us stronger. It is the experiences, the combination of struggles and accomplishments that grow us into the people we are today. Experience is an invaluable tool through which we learn so much. Through our experiences we gain insight and a better understanding not only of the world around us but also of ourselves.
When I reflect on my past four years at Judson and all the experiences I have had here I realize how different I am from when I first came. I remember a time where I seriously debated if I should attend Judson; after all it was a school so far away from home, in an area I had never been and far from everyone that I knew. But I took the risk and came realizing now it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The decision to attend Judson opened up so many doors to new experiences. I was able to tour Europe last summer, join an amazing tennis team, and of course expand my knowledge of architectural design. But my experiences were not always easy. I was challenged mentally, physically, and spiritually during my time at Judson but it was through these challenges I grew into a person with much more confidence than when I arrived.
As I prepare for my graduation from Judson, I am again standing at the edge of an uncertain part of my life. But when I look back at the experiences I have had at Judson, my struggles and achievements I realize how much I have grown and how much I have learned. Although I don’t quite yet feel ready, I do know that I am prepared to graduate. There will be many more risks to take and challenges to face in the future but, these experiences will grow me as a person because as Condoleezza Rice said, they are opportunities to make us stronger.