The starting line

Mitchell Memorial 5KI’m a list maker. I love seeing life laid out so clearly and enumerated. Social media has fueled that interest in such an entertaining way. You name it, there’s a list for it shared via Facebook or Twitter.

I found this one, “10 Life Lessons I Learned From Running” by Suzanne Kvilhaug, this summer. The timing was perfect. I was on week five of my 26-week 10K training app, just far enough into it when things were getting tough and I was rethinking my commitment. (I am, after all, the girl who only joined the high school cross country team to get the cute team sweater and then dropped the sport like a bad habit.)

Kvilhaug’s list addresses challenges that runners face, but I think it also offers great lessons for our new graduates, who are celebrated in this issue on page 4, as well as guidance for our incoming first-year students:

1. Beginning is always the hardest part. Push yourself to keep going. It gets easier.

2. Consistency creates habits, and habits create the results you want to achieve.

3. If you want to get better, pain is unavoidable. Don’t shy away from it.

4. If you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you’ll never achieve your goals.

5. People who do things better than you are your teachers, not your competition.

6. Often, thinking you can’t go on any longer is an illusion. You often can.

7. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Accept it and move on.

8. When you’re going uphill and you want to quit, don’t. Move slower if you have to, but keep going. You will get there.

9. Happiness shouldn’t be put on hold until you cross the finish line. Enjoy as much as you can along the way, even when the going gets tough.

10. Don’t let your desire for improvement rob you of pride in small victories.

Also in this issue, get to know Wheaton’s new president, Dennis Hanno, by reading our cover story by Michael Graca on page 18. We are all excited for the start of this new adventure in the hands of this accomplished educator and leader, who has a track record of championing the study of liberal arts, promoting a student-centered approach to education, and developing global study and service programs.

Welcome, President Hanno. Good luck with your to-do list.

Photo by Keith Nordstrom