Fulfilling dreams through struggle

(COMIC/ Kathleen Egbert)
(COMIC/ Kathleen Egbert)
Kathleen Egbert shares her parting thoughts at Tropolitan as a graduating editor.
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Kathleen Egbert

Graphic Design Editor

With graduation looming in the immediate future, I’ve done a lot of reflecting, thinking back to what I came to Troy with the dreams and aspirations to do.

I first moved into the dorms four years ago, a very different person than I am right now. I was shy, hated speaking up for myself, had no friends in Troy and had huge hopes and dreams that I later decided were near impossible.

Over the past four years, I’ve learned quite a bit thanks to Troy. I have grown so much because of the people, peers and faculty I’ve met, the classes I’ve taken and the work I’ve done.

Being at Troy has given me the unique opportunity to be able to accomplish one of those lofty dreams I previously thought was impossible.

I’ve always wanted to be a published author, so I enrolled as an English major with the hopes of being published before graduation. It took me three semesters to realize that I was in the wrong major and dreaded finishing my degree.

Through much stress, I ended up in the art department as a graphic design major. But I kept my minor as creative writing and retained my foolish hopes of being published one day.

I’ve learned something very valuable this past semester, though. If you really want something to happen, you have to make it happen. Don’t give up, but don’t beat your head against a wall, either. If it doesn’t happen one way, try another. But don’t compromise who you are as a person to fit what you think you want to do.

To clarify, I love writing fiction. So I submitted a few pieces to the Rubicon. I was rejected every single time. When I asked someone on the staff why it got rejected, I was told that it was too happy and basic.

So with that in mind, I turned around and published my very first novel. One group didn’t want me, but other people did. Even through rejection, I’m now a published author (under a pen name, of course).

I’m also not that shy anymore. I came to Troy with little-to-no social skills. It was painfully obvious that I was introverted. I don’t do “social.”

Being in Troy has forced me to learn. Some of those lessons were happily learned, like when I made my very first best friend. Others were a struggle, like having to learn to stand up for myself or figuring out how to handle a situation when someone stabs you in the back and never owns up to it.

No one ever said learning was easy or even painless, but it needs to happen.

We need to grow, which means learning how to live on our own (which means remembering to eat) and how we should treat other people.

Overall, I’m grateful Troy gave me the opportunity to do all of that and be able to fulfill a lifelong time dream on top of it all.