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Life is a journey that is full of endless adventures, opportunities, and experiences. It is your perspective on life that dictates the outcome of your trip. A positive outlook on life and the anticipation of seeing and expecting all things good will surely foreshadow a brighter future. I am choosing the word “optimism” because it should always be the mindset that we turn to for hope and forgiveness. There are numerous idioms and phrases with optimistic views that we hear from family and friends every day: “Seeing the glass as half full rather than seeing it half empty” “Keep your chin up” “There is a light at the end of the tunnel” (Examples of Optimism, 2017). Optimism should forever be a priority in our lives. It is the energy shot that pushes us to work harder, do our best, go faster, and be stronger “Optimism” originates from the Latin word optimum, meaning “the best,” and someone who is optimistic sees the best possible outcome despite the circumstances (Merriam-Webster, 2017). One of the most popular and prominent leaders of all time is Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States. He spent his childhood on a farm, educated himself on the law to become a lawyer, and later became president. It is a sound fact to say that no other president has led the nation through such dark times and difficult issues as slavery and the Civil War. In this essay, I will discuss how the word “optimism” connects with my university scholarly experiences. Additionally, I will connect the word and my experiences to a photograph of “Abraham Lincoln” by Mathew Brady.

It is vital for me to attend a high-ranking global institution to attain a higher level of education and where my student peers have the same drive and determination to succeed. We all worry about our future. Will my chosen major have a value upon graduation, job market challenges, and what will the economy look like upon graduation? If you are an addictive news observer like me, you can begin to develop a sense of helplessness about occurrences or situations predicted for the future. Future events are entirely out of our hands; however, we can approach the future with an optimistic outlook. You need to have optimism to believe in your capabilities, no matter what your current situation entails. Prominent news magazines listed the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) as one of the leading global academic institutions and national research centers. In secondary school during my junior year, I tour the campus and explore the surrounding neighborhoods. On campus, I see all kinds of posters and flyers inviting students to art functions, athletic games, religious gatherings, and even political events. The students seem to exhort an optimistic desire to learn and succeed, and I certainly caught the bug. The campus is a warm and inviting environment, but as you may expect, freshman year is more than overwhelming. My global neighbors are from every corner of the world: Pakistan, Nigeria, India, China and a roommate from Sweden. With the unsureness of being away from home for the first time come increased feelings of stress and aloneness. Nonetheless, we are all very optimistic about our academic ability and drive to succeed. Besides, we feel that a degree from a well-respected, higher institution will enhance our future. It is essential while attending college to continue an optimistic attitude, regardless of the current situation. It is easy to feel that you are doing your best when things are effortless. On the other hand, there will no doubt come personal and academic challenges, and that rosy outlook may crumble. An optimistic attitude helps me overcome obstacles and continue to drive myself towards my goals. “Optimism” helps me perform at my highest level in classes, carry on working relationships with my professors and peers, and acknowledge my capabilities and strengths. Thinking in an optimistic mindset is beneficial as a student, and allows



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