Hopefully I am correct in assuming that most individuals know the story of Bilbo Baggins, the brave hobbit that went on an adventure to assist his friends, Gandalf the Wizard and the dwarves of Erebor, to reclaim their home. Now, this topic for a blog may seem a little nerdy and far-fetched, but bear with me while I explain how the story of Bilbo Baggins can help you be successful in college.
The adventure that Bilbo Baggins took with the dwarves of Erebor and Gandalf was no normal journey. It was full of sadness, peril and fear, but also provided lessons of compassion, love and humanity. This journey that Bilbo Baggins decided to take on is a lot like the journey that students decide to take on when going to college. College is scary, full of unknowns and new experiences. Bilbo Baggins, as he travelled to Erebor, taught us how to handle the unknown and scary parts of college through three simple convictions.
- Don’t be afraid to go on an adventure, not matter how small.
College is scary. You are leaving the comfort of your home and your familiar atmosphere for a huge, scary and new environment, and often you may have no idea what to expect. Bilbo teaches us that it’s okay to be scared or fearful, and it’s okay to fail sometimes, too. However, he also teaches us that we have to go on adventures. We can’t risk missing out an adventure that could turn out to be the best part of life. Bilbo was afraid to leave the comfort and simplicity of his hobbit hole in bag end, but once he did, the world opened up endless opportunities for Bilbo—and the same will happen for you when you make the choice to adventure.
- Be brave enough to help not only yourself, but others too.
Sometimes, as college students, we can get pretty caught up in ourselves and the stress that we carry and all that we have to get done before the end of this semester. It can be tempting to focus only on ourselves and have no motivation left to reach out and help other people. However, we must be strong enough to help the community surrounding us in the college atmosphere. It could be as simple as helping someone pick up their books in the middle of a crowded hallway, but kindness and our own courage can inspire so many others. Just as Bilbo inspired Gandalf the wizard with small acts of kindness and love, we must inspire this campus with the same compassion that Bilbo teaches us. As Gandalf says, “I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love”.
- There’s no going back, only moving forward.
Arguably, Bilbo Baggins’ most famous quote is one in which he explains the importance of never giving up. He tells us, “Go back? No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go Forward? Only thing to do! On we go! So up he got, and trotted along, his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” Often, the life of a busy college student can make someone want to give up and go home and crawl into bed. But you started this adventure, you can’t give up now!! Bilbo’s journey was full of scary, perilous and sad experiences and all he wanted to do was turn back to his comfortable home in bag end, but that was no good. The only way to go is forward, and we must all keep going forward. Follow in Bilbo’s footsteps, keep going and don’t look back. Soon enough you will be climbing onto the stage at graduation and holding your degree, and the entire journey will have been worth it.
I’m sure you all learned about the Hobbit reading this blog, but hopefully you learned more about yourself and your experience here on this crazy awesome college campus. Be like Bilbo, take that adventure, be kind to everyone you meet, and never ever give up. Always remember, this journey, while it may be hard, may be the best journey of your life.
Azariah Eaman, Peer Ambassador, First Year Success