I am lying on the grass, enjoying shade and cool earth, about to give a campus tour to first-year university students. I am waiting for them to mosey along looking lost as they locate our meeting place.
It’s strange how I was once in their shoes, strange how confidence and comfort come with experience and time. At the end of the year I will leave this place and find myself in that ‘newbie’ stage of life once more. This time it won’t be moving house, or starting a new school or uni, but stumbling shyly into the big, wide working world. That’s if I get a job. OH GOD, WHAT IF I CAN’T GET A JOB??!!! Flash forward: I’m evicted, selling my few belongings in hopeful exchange for magic beans and loitering in the doorways of public libraries at night.
We all strive to attain new grounds in life. To do so we must step into the new, thus becoming “the new one” ourselves. There is no shame in being inexperienced; we are only as new as our situation is to us. Being a student for the majority of my life has taught me that I will never finish being taught. We might work with or for others, but we learn for ourselves. You didn’t get to where you are now by doing nothing.
They say you learn something new every day. Today, these first-years will hopefully learn their way around campus. Coincidently, today I will learn if I am any good at guiding tours.
It can sometimes be messy. We can risk all and not succeed, we can claw our way up from the bottom in unnecessary shame and make the sacrifices we would rather not make. Worse, we can let our ability be clouded by our ambition.
But we all must start learning somewhere. Da Vinci was a grave-robber, Chris Gardner was a homeless intern, Drake started from the bottom, now he’s here. Success is what you see it as. To me, success is separate from achievement. We can achieve recognition, wealth, and stability without succeeding. The success is in the balance of our journey and our attitude as we learn and grow.
So we learn something new and we grow a little bit each day. It’s OK, be a newbie. How did you succeed today?