Opportunities to Grow

Lauren - Annville, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 13, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

My junior class and I were all sitting in the cafeteria, waiting in front of the giant TV screen. The bishop of our diocese finally came on and walked up to the press podium. We all held our breath, as well as each others’ hands. He calmly smiled and then said, “Bishop Hafey, Bishop Hoban, Bishop O’Reilly, and Seton Catholic will close due to the reorganization of the Catholic schools”. Someone screamed, someone cried, someone might have even thrown a chair. My family and I sat there stunned.

I believe that overcoming obstacles helps you grow as a person.

In one of my first religion classes that year at Bishop Hafey Jr. /Sr. High School, my theology teacher, Mr. Kostic, was teaching us about forgiveness. Mr. Kostic was the “yoda” of our high school; full of wisdom that he always shared with us. Suddenly he paused for a moment and looked at us intently. “Gang (as he always called us), if there is one thing you learn it should be this: there are no good or bad moments in life, there are only opportunities to grow”.

A year later, September 2007, as I stared at the looming building of Marian Catholic before me, that quote echoed in my head. It was my senior year, the final, and supposedly the best year of high school, and I was far from my home and my “family”. I walked into my homeroom and saw my new classmates; giggling, laughing, exchanging senior pictures with their friends. I walked over to a desk and quietly took a seat as I felt their eyes follow me. I got up from my seat and walked over to a random desk with a girl sitting at it. I stuck out my hand, introduced myself, and asked her how this school was. In a short five minutes, I knew her name, her class schedule, what teachers to avoid, and had someone to sit with at lunch. “There are only opportunities to grow…”

Another year later, as I stood on the academic quad waiting for ice breaker games to be played at “Playfair”, as they call it here at Lebanon Valley College, I thought about how much I had changed in a year and a half. I thought how everyone else standing around me, my “new family” all probably had obstacles to overcome to get to where they were today too. I thought of my “old family”, starting their new schools. I knew that no matter how far apart we were, we were all united in our success of overcoming and growing in both our personalities and wisdom.

The announcer walked up to the microphone and yelled, “Lebanon Valley College Class of 2012, are you ready to meet new people and have some fun!?” My cheer joined with 600 other ones, as we all got started on what was going to be another growth opportunity for all of us.