OPINION: Five inspirational quotes to make this your best year yet

Bradley Richards, then-sophomore in economics, shares a quote from a book he is currently reading which says, "When we feel motivated or creative we say that we are filled with enthusiasm. What do we mean by 'enthusiasm?' The literal meaning of the term is 'the god within'." Photographed on Feb. 4. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! Maybe you’re just starting, and everything around you seems new and exciting and terrifying. Maybe it’s your last year at K-State, and you’re trying to soak it all in. Maybe you’re somewhere in between, still trying to find your way in college and life.

No matter where you are, this article is for you. Here are five quotes to start your school year right. Read on for inspiration and motivation.

“Be hardy.”— Louis Zamperini

You should absolutely read the story of Louis Zamperini. The Cliffnotes version is that he was an Olympic runner, served as a World War II pilot and spent two and a half years in Japanese prisoner of war camps. His story is one of incredible resilience and determination. His simple motto, “be hardy,” is a mantra that I repeat on the daily. No matter what faces us — looming deadlines or life decisions — we have the choice to face it with determination.

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” — Unknown

At the beginning of the year, it’s easy to ride on a surge of motivation and inspirational Pinterest quotes. You’re going to crush this school year! Take beautiful, detailed notes! Attend every class! But by the time Labor Day rolls around and classes pick up, you’re less inclined to pursue those aspirations.

But as this quote points out, how you conduct yourself in the day-to-day is how you’ll conduct yourself when it comes to the important things. Build small, achievable habits that you can consistently complete — and it will prepare you for the big stuff.

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent van Gogh

Yes, van Gogh was talking about painting. But this quote applies to nearly everything. College is a time of opportunity. Step outside of your comfort zone and challenge your fears.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.” — John Wooden

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden knew a thing or two about having a reputation, but he recognized that while a good reputation can come or go based on the whims of the moment, a good character stays. Invest in yourself by becoming a good person, and don’t worry about how others view you.

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step backward into safety.” — Abraham Maslow

The beginning of the school year is a blank slate. Take the plunge: step forward into growth. Join a new club. Talk to the people next to you in class. Step into a leadership role that might be out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised at the result.

Olivia Rogers is a community editor for the Collegian, the vice president of the University Honors Program and a senior in political science. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and the persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

I’m Olivia Rogers. I graduated with dual degrees in philosophy and political science in May 2020. After I graduated, I went on to attend law school at Notre Dame. While at the Collegian, I served as the community editor for several semesters, working to share the opinions of the K-State student body. I write because: “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle