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A black and white ariel photo of a sundial.
Courtesy of Dylan Pichnarcik

By Dylan Pichnarcik 

Editorial Staff 

Thinking back on my life - I have gathered one thing - we are constantly learning. Yes, in the sense of academics, but also and more importantly as humans. 

Every day we face challenges that test our morals, determination, and the resilience of our spirit. 

Thinking back on the year I have had, resilience is the one word that sticks out to me. I have faced ups and downs that have completely turned my life upside down and inside out.

But nonetheless, I persist.

Is it because I’m strong? No. Is it because I want to prove myself? No. Is it because life throws challenges at me? Yes. 

I have faced challenges throughout my life, but recently, the challenges have been more direct and have been important to my future and to my morals.

But what have they taught me? I’m not sure, and I don’t think I want to be sure, because I want to keep learning. Even though life can be hard - it’s worth it. 

Although I consider my experiences to be relatively “cookie-cutter,” that does not take away from the lessons they have taught me. 

Over the past year, I have faced heartbreak, broken dreams, new romances, new beginnings, and necessary endings. 

Throughout all of it, I persisted, and you can too. 

Take the lessons I share and apply them to your own life. 

To start, heartbreak is never easy. You feel utterly hopeless, like a piece of you is gone. You will pass through the non-linear journey of grief and healing. There will be days when you simply cannot bring yourself to get out of bed, your grades might slip, and your social battery will be limited. 

Although it may feel like everything is capsizing around you, it’s not. 

You will wake up one day and feel calm about the situation. Life goes on, and so must you.

You may continue to dream about love, whether it be romantic or something intangible. 

For me, I came to college with the dream of being a professional photographer - I still hold that dream to this day. But I have since chosen a different path. I fell in love with writing and sharing the truth with anyone who cares to pick up one of the hundreds of papers The Gatepost prints weekly. 

It has given me the opportunity to share my love for photography, but has also taught me that I can be so much more. 

It inspired me so much that it led me to change my major. Which was hard. I felt like I was giving up on my dream. Even though I was replacing it with something that would open many doors for me, I was scared and lost. 

But again, I persist.

Now I stand both as a photographer and writer - working incredibly hard to prove to myself and the world around me that I can do so many things. 

These are just some examples of times when I have had to believe in myself in order to continue on. 

They should inspire you to work toward something better - and to be the person you can be proud of. 

Be resilient - stand tall - persist. 

Have confidence in your ability, tell the girl you are talking to that she makes you smile every time you see her, write that love letter, take chances, find yourself, challenge your intellect, learn. 

Not everything in life is going to work out, but you cannot give up. You need to carry on. Challenges will come and go, but the lessons they leave with you will remain forever. 

Heartbreak and broken dreams share something in common - they both come with necessary endings. These are incredibly hard, but again, they will teach you more than you know, and more than you want to accept as you are going through it. 


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