I am a Promise

by USjournal Student Writer: Rebecca Darrup, Cross-Country Cowgirl

"I am a promise (woo!), I am a possibility, I am a promise (oh yeah!) with a capital P."

"I am a great big bundle of potentiality, and I am learning, to hear God's voice, and I am tryin' (oh yeah) to make the right choice."

"I am a promise to be, anything He wants me to be (bum bum bum ba da da dum!)"

Silly girls on a road trip

Those couple lines are the short song I learned from a great barrel racing lady, and I would often sing it while I was getting my nervous horse (and my nervous self) ready to compete at a rodeo. It's got a catchy little tune to it, and even now it still gets stuck in my head pretty regularly.

As summer closes out and college classes are about to be back in session, there are a whole lot of promises and possibilities about to be shown around here! A fresh semester of new classes, new instructors, a clean start to rodeo season with new teammates, a new rodeo coach... I, for one, am excited for the fall full of chances to be taken!

Goofy girls and cool horses in central Pennsylvania

Following are definitions we're all familiar with, but let's clear away the cobwebs that summer vacation may have left behind -- as these two words are so crucially important throughout life – maybe most of all during college years.

Promise: (noun) the quality of potential excellence. "He showed great promise even as a junior officer." Synonyms: Potential, ability, aptitude, capability, capacity.

Possibility: (noun) a thing that may happen or be the case. "The theoretical possibility of a chain reaction." Synonyms: Chance, likelihood, probability, hope, risk, hazard, danger, fear.

Maybe it's just me, but I think the last four synonyms in the definition of the word 'possibility' are extremely noteworthy. Not that anyone wants to be endangered, but how often do we pass up what might be the greatest opportunity of our life due to fear or the inherent risks? Personally, I know I've let a few chances slip through my fingers because I was afraid. I'll be really honest here for a minute...

I almost didn't go to college – because of fear.

Rebecca as an intern, with her college coach and the two 2017 College
National Finals Rodeo contestants from Mesalands Community College

I would have missed out on so many incredible experiences (friendships, road trips, lessons learned, competition spurred) had I chosen to stay in Pennsylvania. The entire course of my life would've been changed, and probably not for the better! Even my summers and Christmas breaks at home would be so drastically different than what they are now. Taking the leap of faith and choosing to be bold are so worth the sleepless nights, twisted stomachs, and sweaty palms – I promise.

However, if you're considering college, especially to come to the United States to study, that can be intimidating, for sure! Yes, you'll have to leave behind family, friends, maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend, and that's not easy. There will be an adjustment time – give yourself enough grace to get through each day. It will be okay! I know the changes will be much bigger for you than they were for me, and you'll be much further from home than I am, but I'm far from home too. None of us can ever fully understand what someone else is walking through, but some steps on our individual paths might match with another's.

Vacation time with the family!

"If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done." (Most attribute this quote to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.)

Going to college in a whole new place will definitely be something you've never done! And while the results may not be exactly what you pictured when you start your journey, I promise you that they will be so worth it. If you continue to do your best, and make your best better, you will have something that you never had before. Work your heart out, and don't ever quit! You never know what possibilities are just around the corner, waiting to see if you'll use the promise inside of you. That said, take care of yourself for your own sake, as much as for those who love and care about you.

This world is overflowing with possibilities. It's up to you to choose which ones you want to pursue. You have so much promise in you, and I will guarantee that you probably don't see it in yourself as clearly as others do. When a teacher or parent or cashier at the grocery store tells you that you have potential, believe them – because you do have so much potential! Maybe you're really good at math, and that's the possibility you choose to pursue because of the promise you show in that area. Maybe you love to take care of people; teaching or nursing might be the path you're following. Maybe you have lots of possible paths, and you haven't decided yet which one you want to go down: that is perfectly okay too (Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything…)!


Coming to the United States to study will open so many doors to you for your future. Shoot, I went 2/3 of the way across the country and my options are spread out so much more – just think what it'll be like for you since you're coming from another country! Each person you meet on your journey will shine a light on an opportunity that might've been in the dark previously.

Sometimes, it'll feel like there's too many possibilities. I bet you're hoping I'll have the magic solution to that... but I don't. My apologies! I'll pass on what my momma always tells me: Pick one, child! There are often lots of paths that are all great, each with their own downfalls, and it's purely just a choice of what you want to do. There are some chances that are once-in-a-lifetime, but there are others that will come around again. Be wise in your decisions, but don't forget that life is made to be lived with a happy heart – love whatever it is you decide to do!

What do you love to do? How can you earn your living doing that? In what area do you feel your promise is greatest? In what ways can you love on others? What possibilities are you (maybe) ignoring or avoiding because they're a little (or a lot) out of your comfort zone?

I'm sure you get those questions all the time, and I don't throw them out there to add any more pressure to the decisions you have to make. Enjoy the ride of life, do your best, sing a song when you get nervous – and yes, it's okay to sing it in your head – and remember that the promise you have in yourself is the most beautiful thing in the world!

Rebecca's puppy, Zia

Here are Rebecca's other posts, in case you missed them:

Best of luck in all your endeavors,
especially as you move forward on your college path!

To begin your journey to study in the USA, use USjournal.com!