Packed With Purpose

second year evan lasseter

photo by sofi gratas

photo by sofi gratas

The semester arrives full of new faces, classes, even homes, and we find ourselves packing our bags for the new season. Some of our checklist items may include clothes, school supplies, books, and even instruments. We not only pack the necessities, but also the special objects that occupy our hobbies. However, among the physical luggage, we also carry an intangible, emotional weight. On the surface, the campus buzzes with excitement, but with a closer look, you can recognize all the negative emotions that may be packed into our bags.  The beginning of my third semester here at UGA brought many of the same feelings as the first two. For instance, there is the undeniable excitement in the campus atmosphere that comes with seeing friends daily and anticipating the new football season, but also there can be the anxiety of meeting new people and taking unexplored subjects. The burden of an academic workload and fear of the unknown is undeniably present. But in the chaos of it all, we are bestowed with a gift. By stepping on this campus each day, we are given a purpose.

However, purpose can be such a mystical, big idea. In the rush of year one, I struggled to see what purpose actually looked like. One lesson I learned is that we all find ourselves here because in some way or another we prioritized success. We had set goals and then we achieved them. To help find purpose, we should approach the semester with a set of goals. The beauty of setting goals is there are no rules--so when you go to set goals, disregard how big or small they may be. Make them in the areas you struggle most, find where you want to grow, then set your mark. We can find purpose by striving to achieve something.

We should also strive to find meaning in our relationships. The very first friend I made in college, Charley Powell, introduced me to an entire friend group. One relationship led to an entire world that helped make UGA home. Or even my cousin getting married in October-- every bridesmaid in the wedding is a friend she made while here at UGA. The community we become a part of instantly adds a sense of depth and meaning to our experience here. Suddenly all of these emotions we have packed into our bags are not only ours, but they are shared and given a home with our friends. Your purpose does not have to be a list of goals, but you can find it in other people or organizations. The Chapel Bell has done that for me. Beyond just writing articles, there are faces to go to each week, greeting you with a smile, and ready to hear about your day. It’s a reason to get up, get moving, and tackle whatever I may be going through. So be bold, step out of your comfort zone, and remember that no matter what you carry in your bag, your purpose is packed in their too.