My name is Augustus Ogu. I am 24 years old. I am a graduate of Concordia University-Portland. I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Music. I graduated from Concordia in 2012, and my first job out of school was as a Membership Representative with WellPoint Inc., one of the largest medical insurance companies in the United States. After 6 months, I took a position with Jackson Lewis P.C., a labor and employment law firm representing management, as a data analyst in their Affirmative Action practice. In August of 2014, I made the decision to return to school, and am currently enrolled at the Northwestern College of Law at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon.
As a freshman in college, I remember being so overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation. It was the first time that I would be away from my native Colorado for an extended period of time, and I was ready for the chance for a fresh start. I had come to Concordia to play soccer, and was looking forward to getting to know my new teammates and assimilate into the new community. But with all the novelty and the distractions that came with moving to a new city and starting a new academic experience, it was really easy to get distracted.
Looking back, I really underestimated just how much I’d be distracted by everyone and everything around me. I was more focused on playing soccer, making friends and meeting girls than I was with school. But I figured that enjoying yourself was exactly what your first year of college was for, and given my relative academic success in high school, I let my focus wander.
I started to party all the time. I stayed up way too late and started to cut class, thinking that I was too good for the material, and that somehow, I would be able to manage and thrive. But instead, predictably, I became complacent. But my performance didn’t stop with school. It seeped into soccer, and my performance on the field began to suffer as well. By my own doing, my complacency cost me a decent first year GPA and a chance to continue playing the sport I loved.
What a sad story, right?
Well, it’s not all bad, especially not now. I didn’t seal my fate by losing my focus, but I negatively altered my circumstances. In the start of my second semester, I turned myself around. I had to remind myself that the primary reason for being at Concordia was to get an education, and to get the most out of my attention I would have to readjust my focus. I can’t lie; it was difficult. At times, I felt like I was sacrificing an experience, but looking back I’m not sure why I felt like that. After getting my act together in my second semester, my reality was extremely positive. I felt more fulfilled and confident in myself, and it showed on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. I had good friends, solid professors, and an opportunity to make the most out of my education which I carried throughout my time in college.
My parents always told me that my focus would determine my reality. If I focused on negativity and focused less on success, negativity and failure would be my reality. But I lost sight in the fact that the opposite was also true, and when I rediscovered that fact, it put me on a path of success. So to each and every one of you getting ready to take that next step in your life of gaining a higher education, remember that your focus determines your reality. Focus on success, exercise self-discipline, and have fun. Do these things, and you’ll find your reality to be the sweetest thing.