Star Wars Connection: Mastering the Force

30 Aug

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

I am willing to bet $20 (and remember, I’m a college student, $20 is over two hours of hard-earned cash, and just about my whole wallet) that nearly 95 percent of you identified this phrase as the beginning to the ever-popular film series, Star Wars. And if you didn’t, well, you are missing out, my friend. Star Wars has a special place in my heart for two reasons:

  1. It’s awesome. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed sitting on the couch and eating an entire bag of microwave popcorn while I watch the Original Trilogy. I even went to the midnight premiere for Episodes 1, 2, and 3. (My favorite Episode is still 5. Yes, I loved 3. Yes, we’ll talk about that later.)
  2. My second reason is a little different, and a fairly recent development. I have found Star Wars, almost perfectly, parallels the life of an incoming freshman.

Let me explain. Let’s step into the shoes of Luke Skywalker/new freshman. Before your journey ever begins, you find yourself on a dusty, desolate planet (high school) that you are ready to get off of because you know, deep down in your heart, you were destined for greater things in greater places (college).

Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke that he has the ability to become a Jedi by mastering The Force. Let’s rephrase “become a Jedi by mastering The Force” to “becoming a graduate, by mastering the art of college.” Yes, college is an art. And, it’s as mysterious and powerful as the force.

Along your journey you will find friends who are there to help and support you.

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You may find friends who don’t necessarily have the same goals and beliefs as you, but sometimes they will still be your strongest allies.

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You’ll find your favorite professor, a mentor, or a program that will give you the tools you need to succeed.

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Who would have known that one professor you thought was so terrible

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would turn out to be the one that helped you the most?

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Remember when I said I liked Episodes 3 and 5? Well, I like Episode 5 because of Yoda, obviously. I wish I could be trained by a little green alien in the swamps of Dagobah how to do backflips, and how to use a light saber. The reason I like Episode 3, however, holds a little more meaning. In Episode 3, we witness Anakin Skywalker at his lowest point. He single-handedly is responsible for the fall of the Jedi and the Galactic Republic. Fast-forward to the end of the series, Anakin Skywalker (Spoiler Alert: aka Darth Vader), takes down the Emperor and brings balance back to the force.

Episode 3 reminds us that even after you’ve hit bottom, and it seems like it you can’t dig yourself out of the hole you’ve dug, you can still redeem yourself, and you can still succeed. In my first semester of college, I felt like I was in way over my head. I received an unsatisfactory grade on my first midterm and it seemed like the end, but I decided that it wasn’t. I studied, I asked questions, I was attentive. I changed my previous ways of “learning” and I came out victorious, with a grade I could be proud of.

Don’t ever think it’s the end when things get tough. You have the power to bring balance to the force and peace to the galaxy…

–Andy Gonzalez

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