#Focused #Determined #Ambitious #Motivated #Persistent

1:30 AM | Aug. 22, 2016 | Baton Rouge, La.



Roughly one year ago, behind the warm smile and honor cords, a young man, who had recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi and completed an internship with ESPN, packed up his things from his parents house to relocate to his new home in Baton Rouge, La., for the next two years.


As I brushed my teeth early on the morning before I flew out to Bristol, Conn., for my internship at ESPN, my mother gave me this cross and said, “You are starting a new phase of your life and you may need this now more than ever.”

Nervous, scared  and everything else in between, the young man made the journey down Interstate 55 to Interstate 12 on rainy day to move into his apartment. That young man is myself, a man who looked at life totally different from the way he viewed it a year ago.

Here’s what happened.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

It seemed like the ride to Baton Rouge took forever.

Honestly, I was ready to get the trip over with because I had a bunch of thoughts jumping around in my head and a lot of mixed feelings locked up inside.

Living in an apartment by myself was a new experience for me. At USM, I worked as a resident assistant. Thus, I was accustomed to being around the students and the staff members in my residence hall.

From the residence hall to my own apartment, the adjustment and transformation process was just beginning to unfold.


After my first day of classes at LSU, I felt overwhelmed.

It was not because the work was hard, the classes were difficult to find or that I could not do the work, it was simply an adjustment from undergrad to graduate school. There were some growing pains in multiple areas of my life. There were things that I had to realize on my own to allow me to grow as a man and as a person.


Slowly but surely, I began to look at things differently. I consider myself a very humble person. Coming to graduate school right after undergrad humbled me even more and required me to change my mindset on every aspect of my life.

At the end of the first semester, I lost some close friends, spent a lot of time by myself, spent a lot of time thinking about my life in general and became more understanding to the words “patience” and “timing”.


You see, some things in life you will not learn in a book, in a classroom or from a mentor. Who knows, you might learn the most essential things in life while “raking the leaves in the backyard” with your father as a child when, honestly, you really did not want to rake the leaves or be outside doing it during the cold, winter months.

However, as the old folks would say, we will save that story for another day in the near future. #StayTuned

 For there are some lessons that you will learn on your own by trial an error and by simply finding your way through the journey and situation. My dad always told me a statement that I never really thought about until one day it really began to make perfect sense.


“Son, your personal experiences are the best teacher for your growth as a man,” said my father.

He could not have been more correct. Thanks for the advice!

Returning in the spring semester and eager to start 2016, the adjustment process became a lot easier. There were still some very challenging times and moments where I questioned myself, “what am I doing with my life and why do things seem as if they are so difficult right now?”

As time went on, things began to manifest in my favor.

More importantly, however, time was moving quickly.

I feel like I blinked my eyes once during the semester and it was time to go on spring break. Shortly after spring break, school was out and it was time to start my internship.

Instead of “looking for revenge like Drake” during summer 2016, I completed my internship as a 2016 Scripps Howard Foundation Intern in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

While completing my internship, I wrote a variety of stories, learned a lot about storytelling, the media industry and techniques on how to improve my craft. All while doing these things, I learned a lot about myself and life in general.

From sitting down and listening to people tell their personal testaments and stories in interviews to traveling to unknown places, these experiences gave me a unique perspective on life, especially during a time where things in other areas of my life were chaotic.

Despite the challenges and headaches, I persevered and made it through.

With my summer internship and one year of graduate school behind me, I am literally hours away from starting my second year of graduate school.


Related posts: Embracing the Future: Dealing with the ‘Fear of the Unknown’

What are my thoughts?

#Focused #Determined #Ambitious #Motivated #Persistent

Am I nervous? Yes. This time, however, it is a different kind of nervous.

Today marks the beginning of the end to another journey of my life: a Master’s degree.

I know this year will be filled with a lot of difficult times but also successes and moments of happiness.

I know that my faith and patience will be tested like never before.

In only one year, I have experienced some bizarre, crazy, weird and difficult moments. On the other hand, I have also witnessed some of the best moments of my life.

There is a balance in some areas of my life. (At least it appears to be)

More importantly, the countdown has begun. I have 262 days, 19 hours and less than 10 minutes until I reach the finish line.

From a sports aspect, in honor of the 2016 Olympics just ending, I have 262 days, 19 hours and less than 10 minutes to jump over every hurdle, to swim every lap, to run to the finish line and to shoot all the critical shots on the court down the stretch to earn my gold medal.

Achieving this task will not be easy. For there will be many trials and tribulations.

However, I will not allow them to deter me from my path.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11


This bible verse and Og Mandino’s line in his poem The Scroll Marked III “I will persist until I succeed” resonate with me everyday.

They remind me of the idea of how I cannot quit no matter what. They serve as reminder for me to continue to overcome high-pressure situations and rise to the occasion. Even on my off days, in the words of Fred Harris, the late principal and head basketball coach of Jim Hill High School, everyday is a workday.

Many people will start a new journey today while some will take the next steps to finish a journey they have already started.

My advice to everybody is also the advice that I will give to myself for the next nine months.


Pray. Be thankful. Do not give up. Remain humble. There is a lesson in every season. Do your best and do not worry about the rest.

#Focused #Determined #Ambitious #Motivated #Persistent