Lessons I’ve learned at Sinclair

I began my Sinclair Community College journey in the fall of 2006.

It all ends in mid-June.

I love Sinclair because it represented a rebirth for me. I am 34 years old. I enrolled at Sinclair after spending more than a decade of my life jumping from one dead-end job to another. When I began this journey, I was at possibly the lowest point of my life.

Sinclair gave me hope.

I have learned so much in the past few years. Here are a few simple rules that I know will go with me after I leave here.1.       Do what you love

I thought I was going to be an IT person for the longest time. I knew very little about computers, but I figured that would be the safest bet to finding good-paying, steady work.

Luckily, I entered Sinclair with an open mind. I decided to take the basic English and Math courses and see where the tides carried me.

I had never really thought of myself as a writer. I had been writing during that whole lost decade after high school, but I never, ever considered it as a profession. After writing my first English paper, I had found work I loved to do.

Mary Clifford was the professor of that English class and her encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to put my writings out into the world, rather than hidden away in a notebook.

I had always been afraid of letting people in.

Then I decided that I was much more afraid of getting stuck in some job I hated than letting people in on my thoughts.

Many college students look for the job that pays the most money when deciding on a major. I think it is much more important to love what you do and have a passion for your work.

2.       You only get out, what you put in

Nothing comes easy.

Well, maybe some things come easy, but most achievements require hard work and dedication to see them through. I learned that the hard way many times at Sinclair.

I dropped my fair share of classes because I allowed myself to get behind. I did not always put in 100 percent effort, and when I allowed that to happen, I paid for it.

We have become somewhat of a lottery culture. We wait for that knock on our door by someone with a giant check, all the time imagining how great life will be when that happens.

Nothing great happens by accident. John Lennon and Paul McCartney did not write great songs because they were lucky – they wrote great songs because they worked hard at their craft for the majority of their lives.

Work hard and great things will happen.

3.       Don’t get spread too thin

Life comes at you pretty fast. If you don’t stop once in a while, you might miss it. Ferris Buller said that. College requires a great deal of time and effort. Add in work and the hours in a day quickly begin to slip away.

It may seem like a good idea to fill every hour with an activity, but beware of burnout. Trying to do too much will only cause one or more areas to suffer.

I am leaving Sinclair, but the lessons I learned will stay with me forever.  As one journey ends, another begins.

I just hope I get as much out of the next chapter of my life as I have from this one.

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