To those who keep on going

By Amy Rogan,

It makes no difference if you’re a student or faculty or staff member at the University of Findlay, you have many sides to your life.

You’re not just a student: you’re a son or daughter, a sister or brother, a co-worker, an athlete. You are many things. And you are part of many communities.

As professors we sometimes see students struggling and the cause can be for many reasons. Sometimes, the adjustment to life away from home is a lot to deal with. Sometimes, a student might not be quite ready for college and need a gap year to experience the world before making the leap to pursuing their career. Sometimes students are fine going off to school and they thrive immediately instead of down the road.

And of course, there are many seasons to life. That is something I tell my own kids often. What’s happening now is not happening forever. There is more coming, and a new season is around the corner.

Then there are students who look like things are fine. They show good work ethic, they earn the faculty’s trust as people who are serious about being in school. But maybe, just maybe, there’s more to that student than just a good work ethic, organization, and good manners.

I recently had a solid student in my office apologizing for being late on a couple of assignments. As a professor, my general philosophy is that I’d rather you learn from an experience than punish you for not getting something in on time. As we talked, I thought, wow, this student is doing fine in class; he really shouldn’t worry too much about it. Then he told me. His dad recently had surgery for cancer. Shortly after that surgery, they found another tumor and he had surgery for that. All the while, this student is trying compete as an athlete and perform as a student.

What impressed me most was his self-awareness. He told me he could feel himself slipping away and he stopped himself and made the decision to get back on track with his school work and with his sport. That takes strength; that takes courage.

Certainly, he will continue to have that concern and worry about his father and his family, but he is also choosing to stay engaged with all aspects of his life while doing what he can to support his family.

I am grateful he came to me and let me know what was going on. I wanted to take some stress off of him.  I wanted to support him in his choice to just keep moving forward.

In the meantime, I am praying for healing and comfort for him and his family. I am praying he continues to stay in the moment and self-aware. I’m praying he receives all the support he needs to just keep going.