Four years may not seem like much time, but these past four have been worthwhile, to say the least.
I came to school with few interests outside of hockey. Hockey was my passion and obsession; I’ve played, watched, and dreamt the sport for the much of my life. I could tell you all about the game and its history from statistics to players’ bios.
Sometime during my stay here at NEC, I came to the realization that there is more to life than hockey. It was a tough transition, but a mature one as well.
I began to dabble in the social, party scene of college. I remember getting to a point at the end of my freshmen year where I dreaded the weekdays and only looked forward to parties on the weekends. I remember consciously thinking how pathetic I was for being in that frame of mind.
During my sophomore year I decided to set out on becoming the best version of myself.
It began with working out. Over the span of a year or so I had been working out in the gym consistently and diligently.
I came to college at a height and weight of around 6’1 and 170 lbs. and was in decent shape having played hockey. During junior year I got up to 190 lbs. and in shape. Today I’m around 175 lbs. I consider myself in very good shape. I’m lean with good muscle definition. I’m as strong as when I was 190 lbs. I have solid cardio and defined abdominals year round. Working out has been a game changer. It’s never solely been about the physical results. More about the mental results and the release of blocking everything out during a workout.
The person I was in 2013 is not the person I am in 2017, in the best of ways.
Once I got results in fitness, I began to ponder what other areas of my life I might have been selling myself short. I started to focus on learning and acquiring knowledge. Not just in the classroom, but in my spare time and on a variety of topics that interest me. I’ve studied fitness, business, and entrepreneurship to name a few. I’ve opened my horizons to new and inspiring things.
“A man who limits his interests, limits his life”
I learned that to find success, I could apply the same principles from working out. Things like consistency, dedication, and pushing beyond mental barriers.
The last four years I’ve learned a great deal of time management and prioritization. If I ever do any school work and get a C or lower, it truly isn’t because I’m incapable of a higher mark, but because I prioritized other things. I may have done an assignment in the past that I know isn’t my best work because I’d rather spend time elsewhere, like reading a book of personal interest. That said, my first semester in college I received straight A’s and I’m working toward having my last semester be a repeat. I’ve found that I do most of my learning completely independent from the college these days.
I hope not to come off as elitist in the rest of this article. And if I do, so be it, it’s not for me to decide your judgments.
The past few months, I’ve been quite productive. As a full-time student I work three part-time jobs, one of which is an internship in my field of study. I’m a member of the business club and of course a writer of a fitness column in the school paper. I have a good job offer after school and I’m pursuing others. I keep up with my fitness and set out to learn new things continually.
Today for instance, I’ve not only written this article, but also studied, worked out and worked 11 hours between my three jobs. (Granted I have few days this hectic).
I’m confident I’ll find success in my life because I not only try to work hard and smart, but also for long durations. I’m willing to put in the time. I only allow myself to put in whatever time necessary because I’m intrigued by the work and find value in it. I’ve learned how to apply myself. I try to make the most of my time. I like the idea of doing what the average person does in three years in one year. But I don’t want to compare myself to others, I’m really only competing with who I was yesterday.
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
I think of investing and the effect of compounding. I try to apply the same principle to my entire life. If I can improve just 1% each day, one year from now I will have improved 365%.
I try not to dwell on the future too much, and to be happy and in complete acceptance of the present moment. In my mind I’m already successful. I strive for more, yet be grateful for where I’m at now.
“I don’t want anything; I have everything. All that matters is how you see yourself. If you see yourself as the king, you know what I mean, you see yourself with all the belts and everything. No matter what anyone else says as long as you see that and really believe in it, then that’s what’s gonna happen. Who can tell you otherwise, who says what way you see things, who says what you see out of your eyes.”
I’m willing to sacrifice who I am for the person I will become. I have no problem neglecting a social life, skipping parties in pursuit of my vision. I don’t care much for partying or attempting to appear cool or popular. I can’t be bothered spending a night of heavy drinking only to spend the following day hungover. So much of our time is spent on our phones clowning around. If I’m sitting with others doing nothing but staring at mind-numbing television more than five minutes, I start to lose my mind. I value my time and try to spend it wisely.
“Some of y’all are not where you want to be in life, yet you party every weekend. What exactly are you celebrating?”
“Anti-social behavior is a trait of intelligence in a world full or conformists.”
Maybe I should be thanking these types of people though. It’s these associations that have made me realize the impact your circles can have. They say you’re the average of the five people closest to you. Certainly, there’s a laundry list of great friends I’ve made over the last four years, you know who you are.
I’ve traveled and lived in several places in my life from Florida, Quebec, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. I’m all too aware that being from Florida, I likely won’t see the majority of the people here again after graduation.
“Well I guess this is growing up.”
I’ve got a big vision for the future. I imagine financial freedom and the ability to truly live life on my terms. I’m trying to build an empire in many ways. Not just for myself. For my future family. My future wife and kids. I like to think of one day calling my wife, a best friend, or someone close to me and telling them to ring their job and tell them you’re not coming in tomorrow.
I like to imagine giving something back to people who have given to me. I want to inspire people. An example that if you want it bad enough, whatever you want can be accomplished. Sure, on the surface I haven’t achieved a whole lot yet. But in my mind I already have. It’s all in the mind. You’ll just have sit back and wait to see it become reality. I have a vision for the future and I work toward that vision daily.