Passion + perseverance + pride = win in the game of life: Austin Groft Senior Column

Story posted May 5, 2023 in CommRadio, Brazil by Austin Groft

This is it. College graduation. A milestone that sets you up for the next chapter of your life. Everyone’s life is an adventure. An undertaking filled with unknown risks and futures. This chapter of life may be coming to an end, but as I sit here writing this, reminiscing over the memories, I am filled with indescribable levels of emotion.

My little adventure started by crossing the farmlands of Lancaster County, passing an occasional horse and buggy all the way to a vast valley filled with seeping potential. The town where I would spend the next four years of my life – State College. A place that I now call home, where I entered as a young student filled with anxiety about what this new chapter of life would bring me.

Then I blinked.

Take a breath. Look around you. Enjoy this. Before you know it, it will be gone. The power of this moment precedes everything else. The past is behind you. The future is yet to occur.

Each semester went by faster than I could have ever imagined. How am I about to leave Penn State? It almost doesn’t feel real.

There were days filled with stress and pain when you just wanted to curl up in a ball, asking “Why?” Then, there were the days when it felt like the world was yours and no one was stopping you.

I could go through each day, week, semester and year describing these moments. Rather than detailing these accounts specifically, I want to conclude my time with CommRadio by sharing with you the biggest life advice college taught me.

During your time as a student, there will be highs and lows. Every day will not be the best day ever. Know how to deal with life when you feel that you’ve hit rock bottom. Everything will be okay; it always will be. The struggles you go through are all a part of the journey. You will get knocked down, but you must keep getting up again and again.

I’ve failed countless times in my life. Did I let that stop me? People want to see you fail. They will tell you what you can and can’t do. Don’t let them determine who you are. Believe in yourself. Dream big and work harder than you could ever imagine.

You are your only competition. You are the only person stopping you from accomplishing your dreams. Not those around you. Just you. You shouldn’t worry about proving anything to anyone except yourself.

I’m not perfect. No one is. The idea of growth should ignite a fire inside you. The fact we can get up every day and get better is so freeing. Implement thoughts of success and confidence into yourself daily. Manifest and picture where you want to be. Set daily, attainable goals that can help you reach that level.

This last piece is the most important.

Have fun and spread positivity.

This is what life is about. Take pictures, take videos and compliment people. Share smiles and laughs with everyone. If you think life is bad, it could always be worse. You never know when it will be your last day. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do.

Concluding this column, I’m filled with tears of joy and gratitude. I can’t express how much you all mean to me. Many of you know I’m a big Dick Vitale fan, so what better way to end this than with my favorite quote from him.

“Passion + perseverance + pride = win in the game of life.”

Austin Groft is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email