The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Saturday April 13th

People should use fear as motivation

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By Lara Becker
Arts & Entertainment Editor

This summer, I insisted, despite the reasonable objections of my parents, that I return to my summer camp one more time to be a counselor. I figured that my summers of carefree cannonballs into the deep end and late-night bonfires were numbered, and that I could squeak out one more season by returning to the iconic place that defined my childhood. 

What I realized is that there are so many life lessons to be learned from hanging out all day with little kids. One of many tasks — teaching them to ride bikes — was particularly transformative for both me and the kids.

When you’re 8 years old and you’ve never ridden a bike before, the first thing you have to do is push it up all the way to the top of the hill. Then, from the top of that hill looking down below, I made three rules — always keep pedaling, don’t give up and trust both yourself and the bike.

The next step is to get on the bike, which may seem simple, but when you’re 8, getting on the bike at the top of the hill is the beginning of everything you’ve ever been scared of.  

I never thought this could apply to my life in such a real way. But when I face the challenges of a new year, a heavy course load and studying abroad next semester, it sometimes feels as though getting on the bike and pushing the pedals is insurmountable. 

Diving headfirst into a brand new setting isn’t easy for anyone — the idea of picking up my life and starting over again is something that is often a harrowing concept of change. 

Yet, the true adventures await after taking the plunge to start anew, finish my abroad applications and work as hard as I can.

The process is still daunting, and still a constant struggle with my brain. But what is life if I’m not willing to push through and show up for the things that scare me?

Part of growing up and learning to be brave is not just taking on new challenges, but taking them on even when they are daunting and doing them anyway.

When you combine persistence, resilience and trust, the downhill battle to success can be achieved much faster than I can teach an 8-year-old how to ride a bike. 


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