The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

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Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

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View All

Sit down, be humble.

When I hear “humble,” my first thought usually goes to its classic dictionary definition as an adjective: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s importance. However, there’s also a verb version: to lower in dignity or importance. This is the humbling that can affect you mentally. While possessing the first humble definition is generally positive as it indicates an ability to acknowledge one’s abilities without making it all about oneself, the second definition can quickly diminish self-esteem. The ultimate goal is always to strive for excellence, whether that’s achieving good grades, excelling in projects, maintaining physical fitness or ensuring mental well-being. While these achievements are commendable, they often aren’t permanent and that’s when you experience humbling moments.

Feeling humbled can happen quite easily. You might take a test, feeling confident about your performance, only to receive a grade that falls short of your expectations. Similarly, meticulously planning a project with a well-defined timeline can be derailed by unexpected events and delays. Setting goals and failing to achieve them can also be humbling. Each of these experiences has the potential to dent one’s ego, but when multiple setbacks occur, things can quickly take a turn for the worse. Sometimes, these experiences create a cycle, where one humbling event leads to another, fostering a negative feedback loop that spirals downward.

Unfortunately, this is where thoughts about hitting rock bottom come into play, often occurring when one consistently faces humbling experiences without adequate time to process and understand them. Rock bottom is an intriguing concept—it’s highly subjective and can shift depending on circumstances. It typically arises from underestimating the difficulty of a situation, making errors in judgment or having unrealistic expectations that don’t align with reality. These challenges are primarily mental battles, where self-defined standards become the enemy. It’s common to be overly critical of yourself, especially when our efforts don’t meet our expectations. However, it’s crucial not to become trapped in this mindset. Climbing back from rock bottom is a journey, but that’s where you learn the most about yourself.

This is where you develop your personality, learn about yourself and figure out how to bounce back stronger. The key to starting that climb is self-discovery, which can be tough, especially after a draining experience. In life, you have to learn and adapt quickly. Dwelling too long on these setbacks prevents progress. Instead, learn from them, gather lessons and be prepared to apply them in the future to avoid stumbling again.

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I feel that I have been humbled a lot lately. But in the end, it has all been a learning experience. It is sometimes hard to view it that way when it happens, but that’s what you have to do in order to move forward. And that’s what is important – to learn from the past. Ultimately, being humbled is not a sign of being at rock bottom, but rather, it is a testament to our strength and resilience. It is through perseverance that we learn, grow and ultimately thrive. So let us embrace the humbling moments in life, for they are the stepping stones on the journey to becoming the best versions of ourselves.

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