By Marcus Legrand | The Broadside (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
You open the box of a 1,000-piece puzzle, scattering it, hoping to find the corners, all while looking to build a foundation amidst the array of shapes and colors. As you try to make sense of the confusion by examining each piece carefully, you realize that this will not be an easy task.
Students of all shapes and sizes enter college searching for that important combination of structure: a foundation of support and the social aspect. Needless to say, the complexity of the unknown while on campus can be stifling at times; while figuring out how everything fits together.
My mother-in-law and my wife attack the puzzle in two totally different ways. My mother-in-law begins by sorting the pieces, looking at the various shades and contrast of color. My wife, on the other hand, concentrates on arranging pieces from a particular area, trying to find connectedness in the chaos.
As a college student, one of the first steps toward achieving your goals is knowing what resources are available to you. This allows a student to set a game plan for success, and build a roadmap to achievement. But, this isn’t the only reason they embark on this journey.
Many of the puzzlers I’ve encountered all have had two fundamental ideals that prompts them to open a box and begin the process. One is the companionship. Having like-minded people working together helps eliminate distractions. Secondly, they are result-driven. Once they start a project, they have to finish it.
Many students pick a college for the obvious reasons — for instance, it may be close to home, or it is one they can afford. If they are unsure of what they want to pursue in the future, they may not be looking for a college with a specialty niche.
Regardless of their choice, coming to the realization that new experiences and the willingness to learn from others and being proud of their choice helps them acknowledge their own thoughts, feelings, intentions, and actions as they move forward.
Like constructing a puzzle, college has many redeeming qualities that no one can take away from you: a steady progression of achievement, an abundance of challenges, and lifelong friendships. So, when you open the box, how you look at each piece reveals how invested you are in the process and how focused you are on the end result. It allows you to progress past the corners, the shapes, and the unknown putting all the pieces together creating a well-rounded masterpiece: you. ■