At the start of each school year, I often have a million things on my mind. How am I going to get everything done? I hope the professors I have are not extremely tough graders. I hope that the book starts making sense soon. Things can get quite overwhelming very quickly.

Yet, one thing I have learned from life, although I sometimes fail to implement it, is taking things one day at a time. I have to remember that it is not how you start; it’s how you finish.

I learned this lesson in my young playing years. I had dedicated coaches who somehow had the patience with me to see me through my early struggles. They set out with a finished product in mind, something for me to shoot for. Then I did everything I could to get to the place they knew I could be.

Sports are full of these life lessons, and even more examples of these lessons playing out. Since football season is close, it provides a perfect example.

In the last three NFL seasons, the teams that won the Super Bowl weren’t the teams to have the greatest start or sometimes even the greatest finish to the regular season. It wasn’t the team that was picked to win it all at the beginning of the season. It was the team that fought through adversity and sometimes early disappointment and came out on top. They finished the postseason “hot” and hit their groove at just the right time. They got it done in crunch time. They took it one day at a time, even if the first 90 days had their ups and downs.

The defending champion Baltimore Ravens finished off the regular season losing four of their last five games. Yet, making it into the playoffs, they stepped up their game and outplayed everyone else on their way to winning the Lombardi trophy in New Orleans.

Any coach will tell you they want to see progression in their teams. They want the teams to get better as the year goes on, learning from their mistakes and finding their groove to where they can reach their full potential. Life is the same way. Every day offers new challenges.

Life has an annoying way of always knowing when we need to fall on our butts to learn something. But there is usually something or someone to lift us right back up.

So, for those of you still trying to find the college groove, all I can say is that it comes with time. It may be rough, it may seem overwhelming at times, but it gets better.

Stick with it. What may look like a road block is probably just a speed bump. Just do your best and forget the rest. Every day it gets a little easier. By the time finals come around, you should be prepared to do well. Use every day to adjust, and just remember, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.

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