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A Summer of Grit

by Dylan Tedder

This summer saw a great deal of challenges for people around the globe. However, time does not wait, and we must all press on toward our goals. I was able to work on myself this summer through learning all about what I call the grit lifestyle. As a college student, there is a level of difficulty that we face that is more so than what we saw in high school. Learning new skills, having more independence, and challenging what you think you know, is crucial for the four years we spend in college. For myself, I used the past three months to start a business, run it, and accomplish several personal and financial goals. As I mentioned, this grit lifestyle teaches determination and how to overcome obstacles. It also teaches self-discipline which is crucial for becoming the best version of yourself. After deciding on the business of running a summer camp, I knew that I would be putting myself to the limits. I have two younger brothers of my own, so I am used to dealing with younger energetic kids, but with the hundreds of kids that I met through this summer, it proved quite different than what I thought I knew. There are three lessons that I have taken away from this experience and that I will try to incorporate in my own life now.

Firstly, this summer taught me that the results you want and are looking for, will only be accomplished if you put in the necessary work. Goals are not often placed in your lap, or easy to reach. Anything worthwhile will require effort and for you to put in your time. Hard work is an important trait to teach to anyone, but moreover, it largely is the only way to be successful. In our increasingly diverse world, there is a lot of competition, and if you do not work at your goals, someone else will come along and beat you to it. Now, you will not always crush all your tasks, and reach your hopes, but unless you put in all you have, there is a zero percent chance of that becoming a reality.

The next lesson I took away was that in order to better yourself, sometimes you need to get uncomfortable. Now, there is reason and good decision-making, but sometimes in life, the fear of the unknown can be the only thing blocking you from trying something. The Grit University internship has ended up being an incredible experience that has helped shape me more into the businessman and college student I am today. But if I had let the unknowns take over, I may not have taken the opportunity, and lost out on the relationships I created and the new knowledge that I have learned. New ventures will never feel completely comfortable, and have all the answers, but by taking the necessary precautions and work in to see it through, you can accomplish a great deal.

One of the blessings of the internship, was the opportunity to be back home in Jacksonville. On top of running the camp, I was able to see my family and friends a good deal. After being away at college for the past year, it was encouraging to see everyone and spend time with them all. The third lesson that I have realized, is how to juggle life better by finding a better balance of everything in my life. While I am in college, I am focusing on my classes and friends a lot as they are with me right now, but I also want to prioritize my family, work and other ventures. So, finding out the right balance is important for me and this summer has helped me learn how to get the necessary work done in the day, and spend time with my family.

Grit University taught me a great deal in a short amount of time that I will take with me going forward in my varies ventures. The early mornings, long days, and work necessary to be successful all point toward the message of the internship. Without having the grit inside of you, your mindset will never aid you, and you may limit yourself unknowingly. But, not only did I learn valuable lessons, but, the relationships with the people I encountered was incredible. From working with all who made the camp possible in the running and the incredible support, the kids themselves, and even those on the RPDS facility, everyone made an impact with me. Without people, life is tougher and makes things increasingly more difficult than it need be. Going forward, I hope I can replicate what made this summer successful in my own life.

Pictured below is Dylan taking charge at camp.  Also, Dylan's local paper picked up the story and published it this week!

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