If you were an incoming college student this past year, you were probably told by every mother, teacher, and mentor that college would be a great place to meet new people and expand your horizons. And although I truly believe that this holds true, the transition remains a difficult one.

One where without the reinforcement of your previous community, you can lose a sense of identity and purpose. So even though I understood the value of being in a new environment, I still felt as if the experience was negative: I would no longer be known for my reputation and previous success. 

But was that necessarily a bad thing?

In a class as talented as the Creighton Class of 2023, I can guarantee that a majority of the student body held leadership positions, won copious awards, and were well known around their school for their successes. Well, now that our senior status turns to freshman, the leadership positions become more scarce, the awards are tough to come by, and your reputation restarts.

And while in high school it was easy to allow outside praise and acceptance  dictate who we believe we are as a people, we must understand that our character, something that cannot be defined by any award or distinction, is what is truly important.

My old cross-country coach would always preach controlling what you can control, saying that if you place attention on things under which you have no control over, it will negatively affect the things under which you have control.

I learned that same sentiment holds true for your reputation. For the first time last week,I listened to a speech from legendary basketball coach John Wooden.

In the speech, he says, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” So, now that we are at a college where few knew who we were, let us vow not to forget who we are. 

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