Dear Late Bloomers: Maybe You Can't Live Your Life In First Place

Dear Late Bloomers: Maybe You Can't Live Your Life In First Place

You should love yourself. But you should not love yourself so much that you stop trying to improve.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I used to when I would race at County Championships and place 2nd to last.

I was the 5th fastest runner on my school’s cross country team. I was the fastest in my events on our track team. My freshman year, I was captain of both teams. I was fast. I have the medals and trophies to prove it. I worked hard and always pushed myself. Yet, for whatever reason, whenever the Gwinnett County XC Championships were held, I sucked.

The problem was never arbitrary. It wasn’t the unnaturally cold weather. It wasn’t the fact that
I was unlucky and my shoe came off while I was racing. It wasn’t because the course was unnaturally hard. It was because, on the competitive Gwinnett County level, I qualified to run, but I was slow.

The problem with placement is that it is relative. You can be amazing in comparison to one group and utter trash when placed in competition with another.

It’s the same with college. In high school, I was an overachiever. I was extremely involved, held multiple leadership positions, and graduated with a 3.8. In college, I have a 3.4, a job, and no leadership positions. I am not particularly good at my job (if I can be called good at all). I have been rejected from every other thing I have applied to and am ineligible for the majority of scholarships that would make it possible for me not to have to work. I have no other viable options and given my current repertoire, my future competitiveness in the job market is shaky.

On the flip side, I attend a competitive university and have an acceptable GPA. I have a source of income. I am a published writer. I have friends I love and live in a community that provides me with opportunities I would never be able to dream of having otherwise.

I’m still qualifying.

As a junior, I feel like I am still at the starting line, surrounded by freshmen who are moving faster than me.

College is the County Championships of my life so far.

I’ve always been a late bloomer. I have always spent more time observing than being, thinking than vocalizing, building courage and energy than making use of it. I worry I do not have the time nor money to train myself into the front of the pack.

You may have mistaken this for a post that would culminate into some super positive “it’s OK to be how you are,” “love yourself,” “the world is still your oyster,” “*insert list of older people who became successful* This can still be you” article. It is not. It is not because those people are anomalies. Those people had a skillset and area they excelled in, they simply had to wait to be recognized for this. In reality, being one of those people is becoming less and less realistic.

I say all of this not to be pessimistic. I do not mean to scare or guilt or shame anyone, nor myself. I say this as inspiration to do something about it. If you don’t have a skillset, get one. Network. Find the thing within yourself that is delaying your progress and kill it. Or at least turn it into something useful.

There is a thin line between characteristics of who you are and characteristics of who you are right now.

The line is the decision. Nothing can define you besides what you allow to. If you can't live your life in first place, it's because you chose to accept second.

Dear Late Bloomers: This is a caution against complacency. You should love yourself. But you should not love yourself so much that you stop trying to improve.

“External circumstances will not change until internal belief systems change."
- Myles Munroe

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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5 People You Didn't Know Went to Cal Poly Pomona

Bronco Alumni who made it BIG

1. Jim Zorn

Jim Zorn first went to Cerritos College and transferred to CPP where he played football for 2 seasons. While he was attending CPP, he set 44 school records and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997. Since then he has played with the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After his retirement, he moved onto coaching in the NFL where he has been for 16 seasons. He is currently a quarterback coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

2. Forest Whittaker

Whittaker attended Cal Poly Pomona on a football scholarship (yes, we had a football team), but an injury left him unable to play. He changed his major to music where he was a part of the Cal Poly Chamber Singers. He ended up transferring to University of Southern California to finish up his degree, but got his start at CPP. He is now a famous actor who stared in Platoon, Bird, The Shield, The Color Money, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and many more productions. He was also the 4th African American male to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.

3. Hilda Solis

Solis was accepted into the Equal Opportunity Program at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While getting her Master of Public Administration at USC, she worked for the Carter and Reagan administration. Under the Obama administration, Solis became the first Latina to serve in the US Cabinet. Currently she serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

4. Kevin Lyman

Lyman became well known by creating Vans Warped Tour, but before this he graduated Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Recreation Administration in 1984. He discovered his love of music while in college and worked with on campus bands to find places to play. He took his love to the LA music scene which led to the creation of Vans Warped Tour, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and Down From the Mountain Tour.

5. Michael Steger

Steger graduated CPP with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Spanish. After graduating with honors, he went on to appear in NCIS, Criminal Minds, Covert Affairs, True Blood, and several Disney Channel productions. He is best known for his role as Navid Shirazi on 90210.

Cover Image Credit: Hahn-Khayat-Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

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5 Ways The Boston Celtics Are Building A Potential Dynasty

"C US RISE" indeed

With Kyrie Irving injured, many NBA fans wrote off the Boston Celtics going deep in the playoffs. Now, here they are in the Eastern Finals going up against Lebron James and the Cavs now up 2-0. All with veteran players, role players, rookie and sophomore players. No Superstars at all.

1. Young but athletic and long.

Yes, most of the players have not been at this level of NBA basketball, but with their youth and athleticism as well as being long, they can seriously give pressure to any opposing team. Youth means energy, long wingspans means they can contest almost any type of shot and athleticism to keep themselves in front of the opposing players and forcing them to make difficult shots.

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The coach of the Boston Celtics has done a great job of turning this team around despite doubters writing them off after Kyrie Irving got injured. However, despite getting all the praise Brad Stevens said “It’s silly, the praise is uncomfortable, and it’s just something that these guys should be getting it all. We all have a role to play, and we all need to play that role as well as we can.” While its true that he's been getting praised like he won two or three championships, we can’t deny that he's done an amazing job with this team.

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Donovan Mitchell was soaring past people's expectations and Ben Simmons incredible passing ability but people tend to forget that Boston also has a rookie just as good as them. In fact, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was so sold on Tatum that he traded the No. 1 pick to Philadelphia for the No. 3 pick and another first-round pick and what a steal. In an article in USAToday the coach Brad Stevens praised him, "As he gets more experience, he’s getting better...He’s done a great job working in the weight room. He’s been doing different things to continue to go through the long season, and he’s really, really starting to peak."

4. Teamwork.

With no superstar leading the charge, its up to the players to rely on each other in order to contribute and so far have they contributed well. Moving the ball and not relying on one person to make something happen. Talking to each other in the defensive end and not letting egos get in the way of team success.

5. Defense.

Defense is always a main factor in anything and the Celtics have definitely made sure of it. The Celtics had the top-ranked defense in the NBA during the regular season. They were a versatile, gritty, screen-switching group that typically turned games into a chore for opposing offenses. In addition to being young, they can play around all game long.

The injuries to Kyrie and Gordon Hayward at first looked like a curse but it actually gave layers like Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier to shine and lead this Celtic team to an incredible run.

Cover Image Credit: detroitstylz

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