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Presidential Perspectives

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It?s been a while since I have shared my thoughts with you in a Presidential Perspectives article. It has been difficult for me to share my thoughts with the student body over the past few weeks because my full energy has not been dedicated to the traditional focus of student government.

In my opinion, the measure of one?s true strength is based on his or her response in times of crisis. These times of crisis not only indicate our strength, but also allow us to grow and develop the fortitude we did not know that we possessed.

For me, the passing of my grandmother proved to be my greatest and most difficult personal experience. Almost exactly a year ago, I rushed to be with her as she fought a resurgence of cancer in her abdomen. As I held her hand on her deathbed, I witnessed two forms of strength that I did not fully comprehend until recently. I was greatly moved by her strength and assurance as she prepared herself for her passing. Her grace and composure were both admirable and frustrating, because I could not understand how she could be so strong while moving into a realm of which she knew nothing. Faith assured her and she relied on her instincts to find the strength she needed.

On the other side of the bed, I saw my mother, who had lived almost five decades with her mother?s love and physical presence. As she prepared to enter her first day without her mother, I observed as she, too, relied on the strength that she had garnered throughout her life to make it into the unknown.

Though I hope none of you ever has to experience a memory as intense and painful as this, I think there is something to be said for finding the strength you possess and being able to rely on it. In a world where leaders are needed and change is mandatory, we need to be able to find our personal strength to find our place. This campus, especially, needs individuals who can trust their personal ability in order to lead.

Leadership is always intimidating because it requires the courage to walk into the unknown, and help other people through this unknown as well. However, if we can learn to trust our instincts, which means naturally trusting our inner ability, leadership becomes a much less daunting task.

This week, I challenge you, members of the Carnegie Mellon community, to explore your inner ability to understand your talent for this campus and this world. Dissect yourself until you realize the true power that lies within you. I implore you to do so, because this campus is in desperate need of leaders who can find their strength even when walking into the unknown and unexpected.