Column: Learn how to overcome your struggles

Maria Baldwin, Assistant Sports Editor

A very wise and powerful woman named Nancy Reagan once said, “a woman is like a teabag- only in hot water do you realize how strong she is.”

I may be biased, because I love both tea and Nancy Reagan, but this quote has stuck with me my entire life. Particularly, as I balance the extremely busy schedule of a collegiate student-athlete journalist.

When I was on Facebook last night I saw a story that reminded me of Nancy’s famous quote.

The article was about a woman who recently got her heart broken.

So, to teach her granddaughter a lesson, her grandma took out a pot and boiled water in it.

First, she boiled carrots in the water. The woman noticed the carrots were soft after they were boiled.

Second, the grandma boiled eggs in the water. The woman noticed that the egg became hard inside.

And finally, the grandma poured coffee grounds into the water and ladled out some coffee for her granddaughter.

The grandma continues to tell the woman of the effects the boiling water had on each item. For example, the carrots were hard and unrelenting at first, but the boiling water made them soft and malleable.

The eggs were soft and fragile at first with its hard shell protecting the inside, but the boiling water made the eggs hard inside.

However, the coffee grounds were unique because after they were put in boiling water, they changed. The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.

When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

I immediately contemplated my life then and there. I’ve been facing so much adversity lately.

I began to think about how I’ve handled my adversity and honestly had an epiphany because it is something I’ve never even considered.

Everyone has stressors. That is what makes a human, well, human. Have it being a hard assignment, huge test or even a family issue. We all have adversity that we need to overcome in order to better ourselves as an individual.

Some adversity I encounter does make me feel soft like the carrot. For example, I can go into any test after a long night of studying feeling confident in myself. But after I finish the test that was harder and more difficult than I expected, and I leave the classroom feeling soft and malleable because of the stress of studying, taking the test, and feeling like a failure.

Another level of adversity that I face, for example, is when I am racing. Some races are harder than others, and when I disappoint myself, I feel like the egg. I went into the race fragile, and the defeat made me hard, and ready for the next race with new motivation to help myself reach a new level.

Although these two levels can benefit you in some way, I believe reacting like the coffee grounds would be the best for anyone, mentally.

Emerging from your adversity a newly changed and mentally ready individual and changed person can help you elevate yourself to new level when times are hard and life is dark.

What I took from this article is to handle yourself in such a way that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Or, rather, when life gives you coffee grounds, make coffee! Adversity is hard, but the only way you are going to come out of it a stronger individual is if you make the most of it, learn from it, and move on.

Maria Baldwin is a sophomore mass communications and public relations major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].