Push Through and Crush It – Advice from Shanghai

One thing that I have learned over the years is that no matter what advice or words of wisdom I have to offer a student, it pales in comparison to that of seasoned Wentworth student or alum. I do not take this personally or as a shot to my professional abilities. I understand that while I have worked at Wentworth for 23 years, I have never attended Wentworth as a student. Only those who have walked in those shoes know exactly what it is like.

Early this morning, I received a Twitter direct message from one of my favorite alums, Mike Webb, 15′ Electromechanical Engineering, who is now working for Tesla. During his years on campus, Mike was a smart, kind, thoughtful, highly involved, and very tall student leader (he is on my right and I am wearing heels). In his message, he shared with me something I didn’t know and something that I thought would be pretty impactful to share with our current students. I asked him for permission and true to form, he said “Share away!”…so I’m sharing away:

Greetings, Dean Wenner. I’m writing from Shanghai, where I just recently moved to on a 14 month assignment for work. Today I was feeling a combination of homesickness and depression along with the general anxiety that comes with moving to a country where very few people speak your language. After some meditation and wandering around the city, I remembered the last time I felt exactly like this. My first week at Wentworth. During my first week at Wentworth I really thought about quitting, moving home and going to a state school with my high school friends. Obviously, I pushed through those feelings and stayed at Wentworth. It was one of my better decisions in life. These memories and the memories of my time at Wentworth are helping to remind me that no matter how daunting the task, I am capable of pushing through and crushing it. I hope all is well on your side of the world.

Friends, there might be obstacles you believe are insurmountable, you might have significant self-doubt in your ability to succeed, you may feel like you have not yet found your spot or your people, there might be 1000 little reasons to throw in the towel and quit, but listen to Mike and know this, there is 1 huge reason to keep trying, you are capable of pushing through and crushing it!

Shanghai or Boston, 18 or 26, undergraduate or alum, transition is tough, but you are tougher. You’ve got this. Don’t take my word for it,  you can ask Mike, once he returns from the other side of the world!