“I just don’t want to die without a few scars.”
These words have resonated in my mind ever since I read Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club seven years ago.
I’ve taken it up as a sort of personal motto.
With graduation nearing, I, like many other graduates, have spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on my time as a Queen’s student and wondering what’s to come in the future.
In doing this, I’ve come to the realization that much of my personal growth has been driven by one, rather daunting and ever-frightening attribute — risk.
My first years at Queen’s were admittedly rather stagnant. I was in a new city, with new friends and endless possibility, but I clung to the comfort of the familiar.
I decided to challenge this monotony. I made an effort to reverse this with at least one notable risk each year.
In this way, I quickly discovered passions for art, photography and rock climbing.
In only a year since making the fluke decision to buy a camera, I became the photo editor of the Journal and discovered a passion that I hope to one-day mold into a profession (of international acclaim — dream big!).
I explored the wilderness, climbing gear in tow, with renewed vigor and wonder.
I gained an appreciation for an environment I paid little attention to and sparked a burning desire to explore further beyond my boundaries, both physically and mentally.
We, as students of Queens, are afforded an incredible privilege to engage in activities that may not or will not be available elsewhere. Our education has equipped us to be resourceful, inquisitive and most of all, daring.
Taking a risk can be as simple as asking the cute barista at CoGro on a date or as daunting as conceiving a start-up company. The point is to just do it.
Many people spend a little too much time calculating these risks and, in the end, lose the opportunity to open a new door.
Youth is a luxury we often take for granted. In no other time is the freedom to attempt whatever the heart desires more apparent than now. I’d rather try and fail than not try at all.
Alex is the Photo Editor at the Journal.
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