Letter From The Editor

Adversity will come. It will come openly with a deafening scream or it will come quietly, unexpectedly, to blindside a life with equal force. Unfortunately, none of us are immune. But with adversity also comes choice: to quit or move on. From heartache comes hope.

Even the bald eagle – our University’s mascot – has had to overcome adversity, from the threat of extinction, to the competition brought on by the turkey, which was nearly our National Bird instead. Sure, the uncertainties of life can sometimes overwhelm, but knowing you are equipped for the task is half the battle. It is important to stand in your own reality and face it head on.

Resilient people develop a mental capacity that allows them to adapt with ease during adversity, bending like bamboo instead of breaking. They possess a set of powerful traits. This is easier said than done. But though life may hand you obstacles, you can turn them into opportunities.

That’s what Eagles do.

In this special online summer issue of Georgia Southern magazine, you will find just a few of our own Eagles’ uplifting stories – stories of triumph, and so many inspirational men and women who have chosen to move forward rather than quit. Men such as U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Georgia Southern student John L. Kitchens. Staff Sergeant Kitchens has overcome a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to become a thriving business major. Or alumna Maria Rea, who overcame a life-threatening car accident, that left her paralyzed from the waist down, to become Jeff Davis County Teacher of the Year.

Whether our Eagles are conquering the mental and physical hardships of running in the Boston Marathon one year after the terrorist attacks shocked and terrified a nation, or vowing to help end human trafficking by using their professional passion for social change, they see every obstacle as an opportunity for personal growth. After all, experience teaches us that nothing is permanent.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Allow reality to set in and understand not only the scope of what is happening but also the reasons behind it.

No one chooses to cultivate calamity, just as no one can promise equanimity. Change is inevitable; sometimes it brings pleasure, sometimes pain. While you can’t avoid pain, you can choose to suffer less.

And that’s what Eagles do each and every day.

On campus. In careers. We are all family overcoming obstacles and adversity to be the best in our communities and beyond.

Go Eagles! Forever Eagles.
Michael Soloway