“Why We Must Embrace Challenges to Facilitate Growth”

Henry W. Noe ’22

Opinions Editor

Anytime difficulty is encountered, the immediate recourse is to retreat from encountering it and choose an easier option. Evading difficulties and challenges are routinely prioritized in our society, which is focused on quickly obtaining information and solving problems in the most streamlined manner. This popular course of action, however, excludes the positives which derive from combating difficulties head-on, struggling with them, and, through those struggles, growing as a result.

Breaking up one’s fortified routine by trying a new activity, joining a new club, or attempting to better oneself in another way brings about a plethora of hardships. Choosing to leave the comfort of an established routine takes strength and allows individuals to learn from that experience. Additionally, looking for positive challenges prepares individuals for times when unwanted and sudden changes are thrusted upon them which call for decisive and immediate action. Ultimately, electing to infuse new challenges and changes will better serve the individual in the long run.

The pursuit of scholastic difficulties is emblematic of this idea. Students occasionally look towards the path of least resistance to achieve academic excellence. This idea is directly contrary to the notion of education shaping students through rigorous studying and work. Choosing the easy way out of an assignment or paper robs students of an opportunity to grow through a challenge and come out stronger. Struggling with difficult concepts and collaborating with others to complete difficult assignments imbues not only camaraderie, but also, an immense sense of pride once the assignment is finished. This feeling is nowhere to be found if a student gives up or elects to take easier classes where every assignment proves to be no challenge at all. True academic excellence comes from embracing the hardships which come not from acquiescing to their difficulty, but instilling more effort and work to overcome the difficulties.

Along this same vein, taking classes strictly for their ease and the possibility of attaining a good grade is equally as unsatisfying. Difficult classes encourage the student to grow and dismantle bad habits which they may have developed in their past educational experiences. As a result, the student undergoes a kind of metamorphosis wherein they become a more skilled pupil and they hunger for more positive challenges where they can grow even further. Possessing the resolve to make it through one difficult class will ignite a fervor within the student to take more of these difficult classes; in turn, enabling the student to truly reap every benefit education offers.

In a society transfixed with the idea of advancing quickly through life without stress, the practical and beneficial positives of infusing life with healthy challenges has been forgotten. Instead of struggling with challenges, overcoming them, and being filled with a sense of pride, individuals are petrified with the pain necessary to overcome the challenge itself. Being unafraid to struggle, to accept change, and to faithfully pursue the growth behind every challenge will prove to bring bountiful benefits for the future.

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