For the fifth story I heard from the legendary Shea Swingle. She is truly exactly how she describes herself here, as the ‘responsible one.’ Shea welcomed me to Radford originally with open arms, and I quickly got to learn what made her such a positive force amongst her peers.
Since graduating, Shea has been pursuing a Masters Degree in speech pathology in George Washington’s graduate program. The Northern Virginia native spoke on trust for us, something she has learned through her young adult life.
“I’ve always been one that tries to predict what will happen next in my life. Avoiding situations that I feel could lead to negative consequences, predicting how others will react in response to my actions, typically playing it safe in regards to “major” life decisions. But as I get older, I find this is one of my best and worst qualities.
I’ve always considered myself pretty independent. I love socializing but enjoy my ‘me time’ just as much. I often take on the role in my friend groups as the responsible one. Giving advice and providing support for my peers is something I enjoy and honestly, take pride in. I love helping others and thinking I’m making a difference, even if the impact is small.
Every group has a friend who fulfills this role, the ‘glue’ of the crew. But this friend, the one who seems like they have it together, is usually the one you need to check up on. There’s expectations with this role. We always feel like we have to be on our ‘A-Game.’ For me, that was in school, when I was playing lacrosse, socially, with work, with family, everything. I didn’t want to need help from anyone either, and as time went on, I realized it was based on a lack of trust.
Trust isn’t something that comes easily to me but it’s one of the most important values a person can have. You must trust in all aspects of your life.
- You have to trust God. When I was applying to graduate programs, initially I received waitlist offers and even some rejections, leaving me feeling defeated. But by having faith and trusting the process, I knew God had a plan for me and if I was meant to go to graduate school, I would.
- You have to trust your support system. When I decided to step away from lacrosse my junior year of college after playing since the fourth grade, trusting my friends and family was the key to moving forward. They assured me great things were coming and changed my mindset from thinking I was a quitter to acknowledging I was mature for knowing when to move on.
- You have to trust yourself. Be confident in your decisions. Believe in yourself. Trust that when you put your best foot forward, that’ll be enough and if it’s not, it’s not meant to be.
So as I mature and find myself having to make more and more ‘big girl decisions,’ I continue to remind myself to predict less and trust more. As long as I work hard and stay true to myself, great things will come. Instead of thinking ‘why me?’ think, ‘why not me?’. Spend less time focusing on the ‘what-ifs,’ and spend more time being thankful for the memories made and excited for all that is yet to come.”
Thanks, Shea. Next round of pizza rolls on me.