Our final workshop for the Institute for Writing and Mass Media was supposed to be held with Sheri Dew, CEO of Deseret Book. It was supposed to be one of the biggest networking opportunities that I had ever been offered. It was supposed to be a lot of things. But then it wasn’t. There were thunderstorms in Georgia, and Sheri Dew was stuck there with no way to get to Virginia.
I’m a hardcore optimist, so when Jeff gathered everyone who was anxiously waiting in The Barn to meet Sheri Dew and informed us that she wasn’t able to come to dinner that night, but she was trying to get on a red-eye flight so she could still come to offer our Forum and workshop, I was sure that everything would work out. By now, most people have probably heard about the difficulties Delta had because of the thunderstorms, and since Sheri was flying on Delta, she wasn’t able to come after all.
When I read this news in an email my heart sunk to my stomach. I had been looking forward to meeting Sister Dew all semester and now it wasn’t going to happen. It was hard to look for the positives when it seemed like my entire sky was gray.
The night before, when everyone was gathered to hear Sheri Dew speak and ended up hearing a few anecdotes from Jeff’s mother, Jeff, and a fellow student of mine, Jeff told us a story. I won’t go into deep detail about the story because it’s not my story to tell, but he told us that a week before, he wasn’t sure if he should write anymore. He was discouraged. When I found out that the flights were cancelled, I was discouraged.
This opportunity allowed me to take a step back and see that, yes, life doesn’t always work out in the way that we want it to. Sometimes things happen that ruin what we thought we wanted or what we thought we were going to get. That’s just how life is, and there’s no way to avoid those disappointments, as unfortunate as that is. The trick is to learn how to work through them, to learn how to be okay that everything isn’t always going to go smoothly, and to learn how to roll with the punches. As long as you are able to be versatile and keep working hard, even when you’re not sure you want to keep going, you will be able to do things that you would never have imagined doing in a million years.
If there is one thing I could pick out from this semester’s Mass Media Workshops, it would be the message of the importance of hard work. Everyone I talked to that made it in their career got there because they were willing to work hard, even when there were bumps on their path. They learned how to push through the hard stuff and continue working toward their goals. “Work hard.” They all told us that. Now, I believe in hard work more than ever, and I believe in the success that comes from hard work. I believe that I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to if I am willing to work hard for it.
When I signed up for this class, I had no idea what I was getting myself into; what I got myself into were some of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I learned things that some people never learn. I made connections and I made friends. My life has changed because of this experience, and I am anxiously awaiting the years to come in the Institute for Writing and Mass Media. Great things are starting to happen here, and I get to be a part of history because I’m willing to work hard to be here and witness history writing itself.