Staff post: By Kim Whitney, Program Assistant
Working with McNair, I have a wide variety of conversations with our scholars. Anything and everything is fair game with me. Recently Donovan (a 2014 scholar) and I were discussing Summer Research Opportunities (SROPs) and grad school. What if he doesn’t get accepted to any programs? What if he does?
It is human nature to think (and worry) about what the future holds and the changes it will bring. You never know…not until you are living in that moment. It can be exciting and scary both at the same time. At first I wasn’t sure what to say to Donovan to help him put things in perspective without diminishing his fears, but then it hit me…”Life is like a zip line.”
Let me back up and give you a little history behind Donovan and zip lines. At the beginning of the McNair journey we have a retreat at Cran-Hill Ranch. The scholars are given the opportunity to maneuver through an outdoor high ropes course that ends in a zip line. Donovan isn’t fond of heights, so climbing up a steep ladder and manipulating through the course took tremendous bravery. He stood on the final platform (high up in the trees mind you) preparing himself for that plunge onto the zip line. It took him awhile, as he let others pass him by, but he found the courage to take that step off the ledge.
Isn’t that really the same as life? As scary as some of life’s choices may be, you can either jump off the ledge and enjoy the thrill of the ride, or you can stand there and let life pass you by.
After Donovan was done we asked him how he felt. He felt proud and exhilarated having faced his fears. You will never know what life will offer you unless you keep on moving forward. So be brave, take the plunge and enjoy life.