Thank you to students at Rochester STEM High School for an incredible conversation today about bullying, leadership and self improvement (check out the video footage!)
After an assembly I had a chance to have an intimate chat with several students. Many asked me where I got the courage to live life the way I do; how I can get up and speak, why I could live alone so early...At one point I looked at them, realizing most were sophomores, and reminded them that it had been my choice to go to college at 16. No one handed me that opportunity, I had to both find and earn it. I looked at them and asked how many would be ready to start college in the fall. Met with shy stares, I asked them why. Why aren't you ready for something big? If the standard was to go at 16, would you have been ready because it was expected of you? Are you coasting on someone else's preset guidelines for standardized success rather than working to discover and provide yourself with the opportunities that fit and maximize you? What if you are ready, but you haven't pushed yourself to find out? No one can see the depths of our power except for us, and thus no one else can be responsible if they are not reached. The deepest parts of the ocean are the darkest but also hold the most powerful tides.Though I have no idea why I found that drive so early in life, I reminded them that there was nothing stopping them from doing the same. Getting into college took three steps: apply, get accepted, decide to go. Most people don't take the first till someone tells them.
Don't wait for cues. Life is a constant search for your own Mariana Trench. That's why we have to stop bullying; no one should stand in the way of you and your search for greatness.