Think for a second about that date. What significance does it have?
October 15 is the early admissions deadline for applying to the Business Honors Program as a senior in high school. One year ago, I (and probably most of today’s freshmen) was putting the finishing touches on my Apply Texas Essays and resume while also annoying my teacher just enough to get him to submit a letter of recommendation on time. Even as I was doing this, I felt uneasy. Was I good enough/ smart enough/ well rounded enough to get in? Enough to be a part of BHP?
Fast-forward seven months. It was March, and I was sitting in the SAC auditorium during the last section of Discover BHP. I had gotten in, but I was not thinking about that. Instead, I was thinking back to the BHP students who sat in the different panels- study abroad, campus involvement, academics- and the litany of things they had accomplished. Prestigious scholarships, important leadership positions, innovative projects - it was all swimming in my head. I looked at those students and thought “What can I do to become like that?”
I had just gotten over one hurdle, and yet I was immediately thinking about the next one. You’re probably thinking well, yeah, that is how you win the race. You keep looking forward. However, there are two things that are essentially amiss with that approach: the first and most obvious is the question of whether the race ever ends. There will always be another objective to accomplish. Does that mean you will spend your life running after those objectives? The second is that if you are always looking forward to the next step, you never take the time to realize how you overcame the last one, and thus miss out on valuable reflection that could have prepared you to surpass what now seems insurmountable with comparable ease.
The anxiety that I felt as I assessed those accomplished upperclassmen essentially arose from the same self-doubt that had caused my unease as I applied to BHP in the first place. If I had addressed that doubt when I got into BHP and realized that much of it was unfounded, I would not have felt so daunted on that day in March. I also would have been able to better appreciate my present circumstances of simply having the wonderful opportunity to become a part of BHP, as I’m sure was the intent of Discover BHP.
I don’t know if you had this same experience, but I’m willing to bet that you have also allowed the future to override the past at some point. For some of the upperclassmen, maybe it’s the point when you meet alumni who have excellent jobs; you see them, and you immediately begin thinking of how you can become like them. I’m just proposing that you pause for a minute to look back and think about how you became you.