Bina’s ‘One Word’ – Vibrant


From the moment I was born to where I am today I have always been the the person to brighten the mood in any room I enter. It didn’t take me long to notice that negative energy always ended in negative results.  Seeing how the world has so much death, disease, and heartbreak, I realized that there is no point or time to be focused on the bad things in life. This is the reason why I am, and always want to be, happy and energetic. That is why my one word is vibrant.

The dictionary definition of vibrant is “having or showing great life activity and energy” which is a great representation of who I am. In the beginning of the eight grade I became close friends with someone who had been recently diagnosed with leukemia. The day she told me that she found out that she had cancer, my vibrant attitude became shattered and dull. I could not believe what I had heard and it was extremely hard trying to be there for her knowing that I could not feel the pain she felt going through her surgeries and the amputation of her right leg. Seeing her like this took away my bright and happy energy because no one deserved to go through that. But I realized that to get her through it all she needed positive energy. Every time I saw her I didn’t know if that would be that last time, which was why every moment, every second counted. She needed that bright spirit, that loving energy to know that there is something to live for. She inspired me to make everyday a brighter day no matter what ups or downs or obstacles that appeared through life.

Being vibrant is being selfless because you are not thinking about yourself.  Instead, you are thinking about how you can effect everyone’s day in a positive way. If people just focused on all the bad in the world, then no one could live life to the fullest. That is why I strive to be vibrant every single day.

Brian’s ‘One Word’ – Determination


Determination. When you hear this word, what iconic individuals come to mind? Michael Jordan, Rocky Balboa, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant all have one main thing in common: determination. No task is too big for them, and that is my approach to everything that I encounter in life.  Maybe it’s just the way I was raised, but it has become a main identity of who I am.

I noticed that determination was something that describes me when I was in high school. It all started when I was a sophomore. I was fortunate enough that year to start on the varsity football team. I was 15 years old, 6’1”, 205 pounds, and I had to compete against 17 year old defensive linemen that were 6’3” and 240 pounds at the minimum. I knew that I wasn’t cut out to play at that level, with players of that magnitude.   But I knew that it was something that I had to do because many people were depending on me. My coaches saw something in me that didn’t. I started playing and it was the hardest thing that I have ever been a part of in my life. As the season progressed, I started during games and became really good.

Over that time period, I honestly thought about quitting. The only thing that I feel was keeping me playing was that I didn’t want all of my hard work to go down the drain. This is where I found a great appreciation for the hard work and the process it takes to reach a goal. That is why determination is something that really describes me as an individual. I can’t start a task and leave it only because that’s just the person I am, that’s the person I have to be.

My parents raised me to never be a quitter and I’ll never let their teachings be in vain. So whenever things get a little rough, I always think back to my sophomore year when things got a little tough on me, and I always continued to push through no matter what my circumstance was. At the end of the tunnel when you’re done pushing through, the result of that task, whether success or failure, will always be sweet because it’s something that you earned. It’s something that you have worked for so you take pride in it. This is why I am the person that I am today.

Mallory’s ‘One Word’ – Brave


Brave.  I am no knight in shining armor, nor am I Superman, fighting villains and saving people.  Brave, to me, is not being fearless but, instead, setting aside your fears because they hold you back from being the most “you” that you can be.  It helps you cope with fears and the “everybody before myself” mentality.

Trust is something that holds me back.  I have always been a quiet, reserved person, and I still am to this day.  I’ve only opened up to a few people in my entire lifetime.  I’ve become brave by allowing people into my life and opening up to them.  I’m brave for giving them a chance when no one else would.  This is also a slight problem, because I give people chances when I know in my heart and soul that I shouldn’t because I’ve been broken down before.  I’ve been to a point of breaking where I was on the ground asking God to take me.  He said no, and eventually I agreed.  I said, “I will go on.  I’m brave.  I will continue.”  It’s cowardly to leave because of a few miniscule events in my life.  It’s brave to continue on, not knowing what God has in store for you, and putting full faith into Him.

In reality, I’m scared of everything.  I choose not to scare though because I cannot afford to while being the rock of my friendships.  I hold everything together when everything is falling down.  That is simply how I am.  A lot of times I feel a lot like Baby from Dirty Dancing, putting everything on the line with her family, her sister, her summer job, and her reputation just to be with Johnny Castle.  Maybe I’m not that boy crazy, but I lay everything out there—my heart, my dignity—because I’ve learned it’s cowardly to hold back your emotions.  Life is way too short for that.  Life is too short not to tell the people you love that you love them.  It’s too short to not save a life.  It’s too short to not make friendships that could last a lifetime.  You’ll never know if you don’t put yourself out there and be brave with people.

Johnny Castle: “I’ve never known anyone like you before.  You think you can make the world better.  Somebody’s lost, you find them.  Somebody’s bleeding—“

Frances “Baby” Houseman: “Yeah, I go get my daddy.  That was really brave, like you said.”

Johnny Castle: “That took a lot of guts to go to him!  You are not scared of anything.”

Frances “Baby” Houseman: “Me?  I’m scared of everything!  I’m scared of what I saw.  I’m scared of what I did, of who I am.  And most of all, I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you!”  (Dirty Dancing, 1987)

I am brave.  I am strong.  I will continue on.

Samantha’s ‘One Word’ – Industrious


Happy. Crazy. Different. Positive. Adventures. Independent. There are many words to describe who I am and the person I want others to see. If I had to sum myself up in one word, I would use the word industrious. Industrious means to be a hardworking individual who cares about the work they do. I work for everything I am and the person I want to become. I have never been the type of person to sit back and wait for things to be handed to me. Everything I want and need in life can be accomplished through hard work. I am industrious because I have a strong work ethic in my school, social, and work life.

Growing up my momma always pushed me to be the best person that I could be, constantly directing me forward. As I got older, I learned to push myself. All the sports I played and all the homework I did taught me that with a little effort I could do anything. I learned quickly that nothing comes easy, and you have to work for everything you want in life. Grades depend on studying, friends do not just happen, and work is only fun when you do things right. The way I learned from my experiences made me industrious.

In school, I work hard in order to maintain high standings, which is why I graduated as third honor grad in high school. Even in my social life, I work hard to always stay positive and talk to random strangers.  I always find pride in the jobs I’m given because I like for people to know that even the meaningless jobs are important to me. For me, everything that I work for makes my life meaningful. The people I work to uplift and the personal goals I work to achieve make me who I am. When I get a good grade, meet a new stranger, or complete a job, I always feel like a better person. Even if the task is meaningless to someone else, to me, I have accomplished something important.

Steeven’s ‘One Word’ – Gifted


There are many words I could use to describe myself. If I had to choose one, the most accurate would be gifted. Does this imply that I am conceited? No, but I do have confidence in myself and the ability to do great things. I was not always confident in myself growing up, but now I fully understand why I should be confident.

When I was young, I ran, but I did not run just for fun. I ran to win and prove to people I was more than a kid who had scrawny arms and short legs. For some reason I looked for approval from people. I began doing sports because that is what seemed to gain the attention from others. Once I joined sports, I realized just how fast I was and could be. Speed would become my greatest advantage over people and my key to confidence.  I was lucky enough to have been naturally gifted with speed.

With my gifted ability to run so well, many opportunities arose as I got older. When I joined the track team in high school, I started getting letters from colleges after just a few races. The college letters meant a lot to my family, because I am the first of many family members to attend college. Whether I was going to college was a question, but my running gave me hope for myself and hope for my family. When you grow up in tough circumstances, hope comes in handy no matter the situation. My running gave my entire family hope and that gave me the strength to continue running and getting better every step of the way. Because running came to me as a natural ability, or gift, people sometimes felt I would not know what it is like to work hard. My advice to people is, “Just because a car is built to drive well does not mean the car cannot be improved.” I knew what it was like to work hard because I did it every day—I had to work hard.

Gifts are precious objects that should be appreciated and not taken for granted. After seeing how gifted I was in running, I gained the confidence and mental strength to believe in myself and succeed for something greater than myself. Running is not just something I do, I enjoy it every single day and not just because I like to win. I enjoy running because it is my gift and I get to use it to give my parents the best gift—seeing their child succeed. I am confident, I am gifted.

Mason’s ‘One Word’ – Sedulous


A person who is sedulous is diligent in application or attention. If I put my mind to something, I will work as long and as hard as I need to until I reach or surpass my goal. As a member of the football team at Texas A&M University-Commerce, I must be very sedulous. To play any collegiate sport at any level from division one all the way down to division three, it takes a special kind of person. This person must be hardworking and dedicated to what they do.

I wake up every morning at five o’clock to go to the weight room. The freshmen football players have been doing this since August, and I am proud to say that I have not missed a single workout. After weights, I go to class. Then I have practice and meetings until ten o’clock every night. As you can see, it takes a sedulous person to play sports in college. There is virtually no time to rest or socialize like the average student here at A&M-Commerce.

Working sedulously does not only occur on the football field for me but also in the classroom. I go to all of my classes and pay attention. I do all of my work that is assigned to me. I also get around ten hours per week of study hall at the Athletic Academic Center. Not everyone can stay on top of things like I can, so I take pride in how hard I work in everything that I do.

Being sedulous is not easy. If it was, then everyone would do it. These days, you can notice how lazy people really are everywhere you go. It is important to work hard and be sedulous because you can inspire others to do the same. It also feels good knowing that I am good at what I do and that I do my best at everything.


Shanon’s ‘One Word’ – Passionate


Passionate. I chose passionate as my word because when I set my mind to something I want to do, I put my whole heart into it. I have been playing volleyball for many many years now and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I decided I wanted to play volleyball when I was around 12 or 13 years old and decided to drop everything and commit my self 100% just to volleyball.

Being in college, I have joined many other organizations and being as passionate as I am about everything, it’s very hard to balance everything and keep myself sane. I am also a big family person and have always been the person who is concerned with everyone’s feelings. I am passionate about others. I have also always been very into animals and truly do have a passion for them. I can’t learn enough about them it seems like.

Sometimes being so passionate can be a bad thing. When I fully invest myself in something it’s really hard to detach myself from it. I tend to have a hard time detaching myself from people I truly care about. When people do something bad to me, I continue to care because I have fully invested myself into those people. I can’t say no either. I am a people pleaser, which I believe goes along with me being passionate about anything I care about.

Another thing I am passionate about is helping children with autism. I never really knew how big of an impact children with autism would have on my life until I began working at my high school as a support peer. Being a support peer was probably one of the most amazing things I have done. At first it was something I thought I wouldn’t be cut out for and I honestly didn’t think I would like it. As soon as I realize that these children needed someone like me to interact with, I knew that I was one hundred percent fully invested in that class. I can remember the last day I had with that class. It was terrible. I don’t think I have ever cried so hard about leaving my kids. I like to find things I’m passionate about because, to me, you are never going to be good at anything unless you are fully invested in the activity you are doing.