For an average student like me, surviving college has been tough especially when I was chosen to become the leader for our college thesis. At first, I taught that it’s the same when I was in high school. But the weight of being a leader hit me big time – not just once but twice.
The first is when we are at the company who’s going to be the recipient of our thesis to present what we have done so far. We all thought that we’re all prepared, but unexpected things happen a few minutes before our presentation. The HR manager said that their CEO would be joining us and just before I can recover from the shock, my sister texted me that my beloved grandmother just passed away.
I felt numb and can’t decide whether to tell my friends or not. I’m in the brink of my tears when I saw their restless faces. Right then, I knew that couldn’t show them my weakness and it’s my responsibility to help them pass the presentation that we all worked hard for. “Its mind over matter,” that’s what I told myself I talked about our thesis. The presentation went smoothly and the CEO even praised us for the job well done. But as soon as we leave the building, I broke into tears and told my friends what happened. They said that I did a great job and they are proud that I’m their leader. Those words helped me and probably the best compliment I ever received.
The second time was when we failed the final defense and need to redo the three-month worth program in just two weeks. All the emotions, stress, and fatigue creep in and we all started to cry, the other one even fainted. But as the leader, I knew I needed to be strong for my teammates. Plus, I’m also required to talk to the panel of judges (who failed us) to get pointers for our program. I encouraged them that we can do it even if it means we need to triple our efforts. Luckily, with the help of our other classmates, our teamwork, and prayers, we passed our last defense and graduated on time.
College had given me tough challenges, but it has taught me how to become a leader, to be strong and independent, and let me meet friends that I can treasure. It can be a real pain in the ass, but it also teaches you things that you will need and use when you’re set to face the real world.
Do you have similar experiences that can help our struggling college friends? Please feel free to share it!