What you’re about to read is a formula for how to succeed in life ““ a culmination of four years of learning.
Well, maybe not so much a formula for how to succeed throughout all your life. After all, I’m only 21 and about to graduate from college. But I can tell you that what you read here will definitely not lead to failure. In fact, it has the potential for two positive results: 1) It will provide the exact description of how you feel as a graduating student were you writing this column yourself, and/or 2) motivate you to the point that you make a world-changing discovery that will gain you fame and fortune. At the least, it’ll help pass the next few minutes for you.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” Not to undervalue the countless years this saying has been around, but I’ve realized from my four years at UCLA that great things come to those who take action.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned other than the chaos of international relations as a political science student and how to understand Chaucer as an English student is that taking initiative in pursuing one’s passions brings success. In order to make the most of one’s experience at any point in our lives, we can’t just sit around until opportunities come to us. We have to make opportunities for ourselves by being active.
Earning a college degree, making Latin honors or becoming the president of your student group neither begins nor ends inside the classroom. The culmination of our college careers and our preparation for future endeavors are not equivalent to a piece of paper called a diploma.
It’s the actions we took and continue to take that award us with the successes we achieve. I feel so connected to UCLA and know that I have made the most of my time here because of the steps I took to become a part of the campus. And no, I’m not decaying into the campus walls like Bootstrap Bill from “Pirates of the Caribbean.” That would be wholly unsanitary.
But I made sure that I got involved in UCLA somehow. I joined student organizations to meet people and make the fortress that is our campus appear smaller. In the meantime, I’ve found friends that will be a part of my life forever. For the people I didn’t have the chance to directly meet, I pursued my passion for writing as a way of connecting with them through the school newspaper. So a thank you to everyone who took the time to befriend me or even send hate mail. I enjoyed reading it all.
And while this realization of taking action has helped me make the most of my college experience, I know that it still applies as I venture on to law school and eventually into the real world ““ whatever it happens to be. Whether we’re graduating or continuing next year at UCLA, I encourage everyone to take action in achieving their goals. No matter how much you wish for a fairy godmother, she won’t come. (Believe me, I’ve tried.) The next best option is to be your own ““ wings, wand and all.
So take the time to continue to meet others and engage in discussion. Share your views and learn from criticism. And lastly, get noticed. If the Undie Run didn’t do it for you, maybe the Viewpoint section of the Daily Bruin will.
Tehrani was a Viewpoint columnist from 2007-2010.