Originally published Oct. 16, 2013

Co-written with editorial board

You have two options: you can look at this week as Homecoming week and consider your potential as a Laker, or you can look at it as midterm week and consider your limits as a student. Perhaps you’d rather focus on the latter, but for just a moment, let us direct your attention to the frills and thrills of Laker Homecoming and what it should mean to you.

As you well know, Grand Valley State University will welcome back its entire brood — ages 22 to 68 — at Saturday’s football game in the culminating event of a week of activity. From the entering class in 1963 to the present mass of 2013, alumni will bring back hundreds of shared experiences and exclusively-Laker memories.

Think about it: gathered together are 50 years of late-night cramming sessions, 50 years of homesickness, 50 years of cafeteria food and philosophy theses and ravine exploration. And 50 years of victorious emergence from an ulcer-inducing tenure as an undergraduate.

It’s pretty incredible, actually. Consider who might possibly return for a quick sweep of their home turf; GVSU has produced a U.S. ambassador to Russia, numerous state legislators, professional athletes, writers, directors, journalists and the former president of Palau. Plenty former students have made names for themselves as local entrepreneurs, engineers, educators, etc., and their educational experience was as much of a nightmare as yours is now.

So as you prepare to dive back into midterms, let this thought be a source of encouragement and inspiration. People before you have sat in your physics seat, have struggled as you’re struggling, and have graduated into successful careers in the real world.

As former freshmen-turned-successful businessmen/politicians/mothers/superheroes reenter under the Allendale arch, remember the humble beginnings of those successful alumni, who also endured eight midterm weeks, and consider your potential after your final papers are submitted.

For now, do your best and know what’s waiting for you on the other side. Don’t forget that your struggles are not unprecedented, and take heart in knowing that we Lakers are built to survive.

 

Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2013/10/1317-editorial

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