For the two years I have been at UNC, I’ve had the pleasure of sporting a gray Garvey shirt with this excerpt printed in the middle of a large African continent silhouette:

"With confidence, you have won even before you have started." -Marcus Garvey

At this point in my life, I do believe that without confidence, I would fail.

As I study to become a teacher, impostor syndrome creeps in now and then, making me think that I will fail. Fear becomes my excuse to not participate, to turn in assignments late and to get distracted with the thoughts of, "you’re never gonna use this anyway".

For college students, the fears of the unknown are real. School is not just an everyday job – it’s an expensive, time-consuming investment of a vision to be great business leaders, passionate social justice advocates and life-changing educators. Our drive is not a weekly paycheck, but a semester grade representing a dream. So our drive has to be strong.

Amid great dreams are obstacles: finances, impostor syndrome, mental crisis, medical crisis, the job market, family matters and the simple question of “am I wasting my time here?” So, let’s be honest – why run the race so strong with the possibility of disappointment? Who’s holding the cards to my fate?

My dad used to tell me I would be great at Safety Management because I could point out all the caution points to watch out for when building a project. Thanks, dad.

When I’ve waded in the waters of “caution seeking” in my own life, one of my many lifeboats this semester has been a verse from the Bible. To sound a bit more cliché, it happens to be Psalms 23 and it reads:

The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me along the right path for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me,
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Whether you’ve been struggling in school, with family relationships, or in personal battles, I hope that you will soon find confidence in something to help keep you steady. Sometimes, I’ve needed the help of countless others to remind me to “fix my eyes on the prize”. So, I also encourage you to be patient, diligent and hopeful, even if you feel completely lost. Reach out to others when you desperately need it and grow in the confidence you need to help you achieve your goal.

Marcus Garvey Cultural Center (MGCC)

970-351-2351 |

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