This month my son, Min. Justin R. Lester, is the guest columnist. His article is geared towards young people encouraging them to pursue their goals.
Min. Lester received his undergraduate degrees in Public Relations and Theology at Marquette University in May 2010 and is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Communications at Marquette University.
He is a grateful four-time recipient of the Terence N. Thomas Scholarship sponsored by the Milwaukee Community Journal.
–Rev. Judith T Lester, B.Min, M.Th.
I never will forget the first time I arrived on Marquette’s Campus. My eyes were huge, my mind was empty, and I knew no one. Absolutely no one! A week later, I didn’t feel the same way. I had met many more people, had become acclimated to my classes and finally had broken the mold and thought I arrived to become the next big thing that the world would never be able to handle.
At this point, I imagine many of you are tuning me out because you probably think, “here is another generic ‘college-is-great-but-hard’ article.” You’re tired of hearing about the struggles of college, late nights, and parties; but the writing of this article signifies that I have overcome those obstacles.
This article is not about just the average college struggles frankly, because, well, I would tune myself out. I’m here to tell you that: yes, college is no joke. Struggles will come. High times will be there as well. But young people I encourage you to paint your picture in your head as to what you want to do and pursue that goal(s).
Recently I was watching a documentary on the Rhinoceros. I was captivated with the piece on the eyesight of this gigantic animal.
Because of the placement of their eyes on the side on their head (instead of in the front like humans), rhinos are not able to see clearly.
Therefore, whenever the rhino charges, they do so with their eyes closed.
Experts believe the rhino paints a picture of what they are running into and then they move quickly towards the image they have painted in their heads.
To the students who are going to college and those who are in high school, ‘paint your picture’ and pursue your goal – not someone else’s goals for you, but your goals. Even if your goal is one that others think you cannot attain, paint your picture nevertheless.
By doing so, you will begin to see your own potential, gifts, and skills our Creator has given YOU. One day you will open your eyes and be right in the middle of YOUR picture.
By the way, when times got hard during my undergraduate studies, what kept me going was my faith in God.
One of the scriptures that inspired me was Philippians 3:14: “By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning me onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back” (Message Bible).
My mom was there to pray for me and my sister kept me laughing during those times when I literally felt like crying.
Now, after the summer break, I have settled into my apartment on campus.
Looking back at my freshman year, four years ago, I can say I am much wiser (spiritually and mentally) and better equipped to handle the challenges of graduate school ahead.
Young people, I painted my picture and I pursued my goals, and I have absolutely no regrets.