Sydney’s ‘One Word’ – Compass


Just like a compass, I have veered off in many different directions in my life. However, when I single in on one direction I am 110% committed in what I decide to do. A compass may be a directional object to most, but it is the word I find best describes me. It points in several directions but somehow always gets you to a final destination or treasure. This simple word is a complex explanation of how I live my life and with so many options in the world, it explains how I can focus in and follow one path. Once I find my path I am full force and dedicated with everything I have. I am the type of individual that likes to look at all my options and then I follow the direction that will work the best for me. This is an abstract way to define myself; however, the complexity of the compass is the best way to represent my behavior and decision making processes. Also, like the compass, I am always in motion and always available. Sometimes I wish I could stop the constant spinning with all the activities I involve myself with but that is a part of my personality and love being constantly busy.

For example, I never expected to go to a university to get my education. After I looked at all my options, I focused east and fell in love with Texas A&M University-Commerce and ended up only applying here, which showed my assurance in my choice.  I refused to settle on community college, so I decided to follow my compass and make Commerce my home.

I played volleyball for seven years of my life but I decided that my compass no longer pointed that direction for college and I had to focus on school. My compass was pointing north with my strong love for volleyball and all the jumping I was doing but once my experience went south, I ended up changing directions for the better. I was kind of sad to stop playing volleyball and wanted to do something to cheer myself up. One of my teammates made the suggestion that we take a trip to take our minds off of not playing volleyball, but we could not think of anywhere to go. That was when my compass pointed me west and I took a trip to Hawaii with my two best friends at the end of my senior year, and that trip allowed me to grow and prepare myself for college and see a glimpse of life on my own.

I would describe the spinning of the compass as a growing period—allowing you to try different things and maybe even get lost at some point or be unsure but somehow you will find a solution or destination. Those mistakes and misdirections are what make you learn more about yourself and allows you to follow your arrow towards what you really want in life.

Natalie’s ‘One Word’ – [Rad]ical

Natalie portrays her one word: Radical

Radical. I chose radical as my word, because that’s what I want to live by and that’s what I want to be known for. No, my definition of the word radical is not what lines up with the Webster definitions of the word, but I have my own personal definition that applies to my life and personal beliefs. To me, radical means outgoing, creative, and unique. It means you make the way for yourself, because at the end of the day you are your own best friend and you are the only “you” out there. Nobody can compare to you and what you have to offer to the world because your soul is so unique.

I do agree with some of the synonyms for the word radical, such as: open-minded, classic, and thorough. I believe that I am a very open-minded person and open-hearted as well. I agree with thorough and classic as synonyms, and I like to think that I am those things. They all point to the “mother-term” radical. I always give everything my all and am very thorough with details. Classic is a word that is close to my heart, because “it is known to be the work of art” and is “judged over time to be the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.” It is pure, genuine, and worth remembering. I feel that all of these go hand-in-hand with my word, radical, because they all link up to the same thing: originality.

I strive to be a better person daily, and I have come so far from what I was. In my heart, that is a radical transformation. I have endured my own personal hardships and am still transforming radically every day. Another aspect of the word goes hand-in-hand in my religion. As a Christian, we strive to be radicals for Jesus. This means we do whatever possible to walk in his steps and not stray from the love and light that is God. There are forms of this that are much more extreme but I just choose to try to be the best that I can be. I think that I have a very good grasp of right from wrong, as well as what The Lord would want, which fortunately is morally right.

Basically, as I have already said, I am just another soul trying to find my purpose and meaning in life. Radical is my word for that. I am constantly growing, changing, and forming into a closer version of what I want to be, and I am glad I found a word that can describe all of that for me.

Rionnah’s ‘One Word’ – Risk-Taker

Rionnah portrays her word Risk-Taker


If I were to ask you to give me the recipe for success, could you present me with an effective one? Should I start with a goal? I can add in some dedication, a cup full of hard work, and top it all off with a dash of character? Does that sound good? Would it be considerable to toss on some risks? Most people disregard risk taking as a negative idea, and, indeed, if not done in moderation it has the ability to be; however, risk can be the key ingredient to success.

The Problem

Normally, taking a risk implies failure—a concept with which everyone is not so comfortable. Why? Failure may be a common fear in society because a good number of us have been trained all throughout grade school that there are rewards for right answers, such as candy, privileges, or, simply, reassurance; whereas, wrong answers are penalized with the revocation of privileges, scolding, or disappointment. It is no wonder with the way children are conditioned and inhibited in school that we are afraid to fail now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking the time to consider all alternatives before acting. I encourage contemplation in all situations, but when it comes to progression: “When you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.” In other words, sometimes you have to take that risk and do something that you have never done.

I often find myself brainstorming ways that I can modify my rational thinking and behavior in the name of self-enhancement. My ultimate goal for the near future, as I feel may be the same for a lot of my counterparts, is to be able to present the best version of myself to employers, co-workers, family, and, most importantly, myself. I have been studying Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which is represented as a pyramid showing five levels of needs that serve as a motivational theory in psychology that argues that while people aim to meet basic needs, they ultimately seek to meet higher needs, theoretically ending in self-actualization. Every day, we are changing either for the better or for the worse and in order to reach success, we have to pursue it. Self-actualization includes a concept called spontaneity, meaning that along with knowing and living by one’s morals, they also act with a sudden inner impulse or inclination without much premeditation. So as a part of the journey to fulfilling the need of internal peace, I would have to put my fear aside and embrace the risk of failing on a task.

The Solution

As my semester turns into a year, and my year leads into my professional career and adult life, I want to achieve my dream of becoming a clinical psychologist, as well as a counselor. Although I can get there the way so many have before, I envision a different method of my path. Great, unforeseen opportunities come from doing something different.

If we cease to think of failure as a lack of success and see it more as the omission of expected results or action, we may be able to accept it and open ourselves up to the potential opportunities that risk-taking can offer.

Darrion’s ‘One Word’ – Incredible

Darrion portrays his one word: Incredible

Incredible—one of my favorite words that I like to think of myself as. To me that word has more meaning to it than what it seems. It all started back to when I was a little kid running around doing things I wasn’t really fond of doing. At that time of my life, I thought the word incredible meant to be great. I always wanted to be great at something, so I started to find things that I liked to do. I decided to get involved in sports, playing instruments, and other hobbies I could think of, so as I got older I could focus on what I was good at and be incredible at that activity.

As the years passed, I found something that I enjoyed doing: playing football.  I liked it because it built character, teamwork, and discipline, and it was expressing leadership. I asked myself how I could be incredible at something without knowing the real definition of the word, so I looked up the word incredible and in the dictionary it stated “to be extremely good, large, and impressive.” When I saw the definition, I realized what I need to do to be incredible. Now somewhere between eighth grade and my freshman year in high school, a movie called The Incredibles came out about a family of heroes that saves the world from super villains. The main character, Mr. Incredible, was my favorite because he was the big strong guy and very impressive that all the kids wanted to be like him. That’s when I knew what I had to do to be incredible: I needed to put in the time, dedication, and hard work into football just like Mr. Incredible did towards saving the world and to train every day to make myself better.

When football season came around, I never missed practice and worked hard to show the coach I was committed and dedicated to the program. I did this all through high school and senior year it paid off. My senior year I received three district honors from the athletic department of Fort Worth school district.  When I received those awards, I realized I was incredible at something I liked to do. When you put forth the incredible work, the incredible results appear.

Ro’s ‘One Word’ – Laissez-Faire

Ro portrays his one word: Laissez-Faire

While thinking about what one word I could use to explain myself, I got caught up in the abstract perspective of how I think that others see me. I see myself as a relaxed, chill guy, who just loves to live life. I believe that every person is born with a pre-destined purpose, a reason for their existence here on earth. With that being said, I try to just live life in the most simplest way I know how. The word I chose to describe myself is “Laissez-Faire”. Webster Dictionary describes this word as, “a philosophy or practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction or interference especially with individual freedom of choice and action.”   I honestly believe that people stress over life too much and that sometimes it is better to just let things unfold naturally rather than trying to make something happen.

To live in another parallel universe, where you’re free to be yourself.

To be in a state of mind, where a man isn’t concerned with his past or his wealth.

It is not an art of living careless, reckless, young, wild and free…

To not worry about them, they, to only take care of me.

It’s not that I don’t care, I’m not dumb, nor am I crazy.

I just roll with the punches, taking whatever life throws at me daily.

Life is a rough draft, I freely make mistakes and learn from bad decisions.

I live life day to day and only do things with good intentions.

I make a lot of friends people just love my laid back personality.

The way I can avoid stressful moments, and seclude my happiness from the rest of reality.

Right now, I’m the little guy, quiet and chill, but one day I hope to inspire my nation.

Not through a rap lyric, or athlete status, but by showing them the importance of an education.

I have problems as well, and it’s not that I don’t care

I just think it’s better to live life with the philosophy of laissez-faire.

By living life with a laissez-faire type of attitude, I find myself free from stress and depression. I don’t like to make plans, and I don’t often think about outcomes. I just live a fun life and deal with things as they come to me.

Sarah’s ‘One Word’ – Confident

Sarah depicts her word Confident

“Sarah, you are never going to be the best; there will always be someone who will be better than you,” my dad said. I felt like a sledge hammer had just fallen on top of me and crushed every hope and dream I had for myself. I thought parents were supposed to lift you up and encourage you to be the best, not knock you down. Ever since that morning when my dad told me his “helpful” advice before my first debate tournament in high school, I made it my mission to do my best. Notice I didn’t say “be the best”, simply because I am not the best at anything. I was just “good” or “awesome”, but never “the best”.

The word confident resonates with me so much because of my childhood. My mom was never really around until I was about fourteen years old. Basically, when I was becoming who I am today, she didn’t help me directly. I had to learn how to dress, act, talk, and walk like a girl on my own. This doesn’t sound too hard, but when you have been raised like a boy by your dad for so long, it becomes a big struggle. I had to make my own definition of what a woman should be like. I wanted to be pretty by my standards, dress nice, have good social skills, and know how to cook. Pretty simple, right? Boy was I wrong! I found out after I ripped one pencil skirt, nearly burned the house down, and insulted someone accidently that this would be much harder than I had thought. These road blocks made me even more determined to achieve my definition of a woman.

When I started my freshman year of high school, I found an amazing mentor who helped me along my journey. She taught me that you can know nothing about a topic and still win an argument. It takes all the confidence you have (and a little BS) to win. That is it. I am in love with this concept of being able to control something without actually knowing jack squat about it. People get nervous and weaken their opinion when they think somebody knows more about the topic than they do. It amazes me how passionate people will be over something. Then, someone will come along and scare them out of it because they don’t want to be wrong. All it takes is confidence. In many cases, people refuse to back down and it is the scariest moment when someone asks a question you cannot answer because you do not know the answer. That’s what life is all about, having the confidence to take that first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Courtney’s ‘One Word’ – Third

Courtney portrays her one word: Third

Third. This word describes how I strive to live my life day in and day out. To be third means you must put God first, others second, and yourself third. That means all of the time, not just when you want to, or when it is easy and convenient. To truly live an “I’m Third” life you must act, speak, and reflect your choices to be third with every thought, word, and action, every single day. It is a choice, a choice that I make every morning. It is not an easy choice when you are tired, scared, worried, sad, frustrated, or even happy, but it is vital to my everyday life. I cannot simply live third one day and then the next day be selfish and only put myself first. By this very definition, I hold myself responsible to live my life with this standard in mind. God has made such an impact on my life and He has forever changed me. As Christians we are called to love the Lord more than anything else and we are called to serve others before ourselves. We must put God first in our lives and then serve and love others the way Christ loves us.

I first heard the term “I’m Third” at the Christian sports camp that I attend, and it has stuck with me all these years. “I’m Third” is the motto in which the entire staff lives by and tries to instill in the campers. I have gone to this camp for seven years and each year I grow more in my faith and grow more as a woman of God. Although it is difficult at times to put others needs before my own, I know that it is something the Lord smiles upon. By serving others around me in my daily life, I can share my faith with them and show them Christ’s love through me. By choosing the narrow road there will always be judgments and hard times, but I know that sharing the love of Jesus with as many people as I can will be worth it.

I put God first by loving Him more than anything on this earth, more than my family, more than sleep, more than people’s opinions of me, more than the air we breathe. I love God and choose to serve Him first. I put others second by serving and loving all the people in my life and those complete strangers I interact with every day as well. I serve others through small actions or through large deeds. Anywhere from opening the door to painting someone’s house can be actions of service for others around. Many of these actions could be seen as simple acts of kindness, and in reality they are, but the Lord calls us to serve and so I choose to put others second. I put myself third by allowing myself to be last, to sacrifice selfish desires and be last.

Living an “I’m Third” life is what defines me, what makes me different, and what makes me who I am. I choose to live this way and honestly it has brought me joy in my life and more importantly it has brought joy to my Father in Heaven.