One of my favorite things about being on an organized athletic team was the pregame and halftime speeches given by coaches. I have had many pep talks in my day, some great and some not so great. There are also a slew of pep talks I have completely forgotten about.

The ultimate goal of a pep talk is to not only get you ready for a game, but ready for life. There have been great coaches who have given speeches that stick with their athletes for the rest of their lives.

This is the time in our semester when we need a pep talk. I am going to channel my inner Kid President, Coach Carter, John Wooden, Herb Brooks, Herman Boone and all the other great pep-talkers out there and give you a pep talk.

We’ve found ourselves in a stressful situation. A situation that we may feel we have been set up to fail in. Papers, big projects and finals are looming in the near future, and we are beginning to the feel the weight of that on our shoulders. We are getting antsy and irritable.

We can get through this. It doesn’t matter if we are seniors, juniors, sophomores or freshmen; we are all in this together. We need to start helping each other out by shining our own light and encouraging others to do the same. I’ve had a quote stuck in my head this week. It’s one we’ve all heard, but it fits here and it’s better than anything I can come up with:

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us. It’s in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others,” Nelson Mandela said.

This is our time to shine. The end of the semester is the time when we need to “stop being boring,” as Kid President said. We need to break out of our little uptight boxes and get creative. Do your best; that’s all anyone can ask for. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. If you are not making mistakes, then you aren’t doing anything. Not doing anything is the same as quitting.

This is not the time to quit. We may be hiking up an eternal mountain. Our load may be too heavy to carry, but since we are all on the same team, we aren’t suffering alone. We have our friends and classmates and even our professors there to help us along. As we push ahead and keep working and never quitting, we can do anything. We can do hard things.

When this semester ends or your time at Weber State ends because you’re graduating, and you look back at the last month or four years, you will know you did your best. You finished strong. When the goal is in front of you, ready to be accomplished, you can’t forget to stop and check out the view, because you know what? It’s amazing.

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