This I Believe

Brian - North Andover, Massachusetts
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I like to think that I have complete control over my future. Not knowing what is around the bend makes me nervous. I went to high school and chose to go to college. I chose to go to the Pennsylvania State University, and when I graduate, I will choose a job I will enjoy.

I guess my belief started during the fall of my freshman year of college. I was raised a Penn State football fan so attending the football games was a given. On my first Saturday of college, I walked down the road to Beaver Stadium like everyone else. I had little idea of what was about to happen.

To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you if we won or not. Winning or losing didn’t matter to me after the game; it was what I just experienced that did. I thought walking into that stadium I was just going to a football game, and boy was I wrong.

What happened to me during that game and the games that followed is hard to describe. I became more than a Penn State football fan; I became a part of a family. I had 110,000 friends every Saturday, some I knew by name and most I didn’t. But that didn’t matter. We all knew we were bonded by the love for the same thing.

Through my four years of college, I saw the best and worst of being part of a sports family. Winning was much more enjoyable, but I always knew I had the help of thousands of others during a loss.

I believe that it is important for every human being to be part of something bigger than themselves. I was involved in an incredibly large fan base, but that is only one of the many ways to be involved in something bigger than the individual. A marching band, a theatrical production, or a tight-knit group of employees are just a few examples of the many ways to be a part of this.

My younger sister never understood how I could be so involved in following a sports team. But being a freshman in college and the start of an anticipated basketball season on the horizon, she finally understood what it meant to me. Not having control over something bigger than myself taught me things I wouldn’t have learned anywhere else. Sometimes I have to count on others. Sometimes I need to understand that I have no control over what is about to happen and I just have to trust along with the people around me that it will be ok. But more importantly for me, sometimes I have to hold hands with the people standing next to me and pray to the football gods that the field goal splits the uprights.