Think Like a 19 Year Old

ONE Lantern

I talk a lot about my writing job here, and not as much about my other job as an academic advisor at a large research university. Sometimes (often, actually) really inspiring things happen there too, so I thought I’d share a bit of that this week.

Last year, one of my first year students approached me about being a faculty advisor for an organization she and her friend were trying to start.  They wanted to launch a campus chapter of the national organization ONE.  They went on to do so and recently they hosted a candle lighting/letter writing event (pictured in this post) to raise support for the Electrify Africa bill.  They were recognized for having the most successful event among campuses across the nation.  It was their second event ever.


I don’t share this story to try to garner support for any particular cause.  Instead I share it to try to illustrate something we can all learn from their example.  They found something they felt passionate about and went for it, regardless of the fact they had never started or run an organization before.  They put hours into planning for an event in spite of the fact that there was no guarantee anyone would show up.  They walked up to their peers and asked them to listen to their message knowing they might be challenged.  They took risks, that time and experience and dogma have convinced many of us not to in our “adult” lives.

Write a letter

It is this spirit that I love.  This reminder that sometimes you don’t have to have it all figured out.  That sometimes you just need energy, passion, and belief in the humanity of others.  Sometimes you just need to think like a nineteen year old.

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