Empty Your Mental Cup

Dominic Jae Savana, Cactus Editor

At this semester’s Honors Induction Ceremony at the Signal Peak Campus, President Elliott delivered the opening speech to a crowd of Phi Theta Kappa inductees, members, alumni, family, and members of the Central Arizona College community. At the end of the speech, she recalled a story where a master explains to a student that he must empty his mental cup before truly learning.

This story went hand in hand with the story of the keynote speaker, CAC alumni Nate Bush. Mr. Bush recalled his experience at Central Arizona College and how his academic journey completely turned around his life. Nate had to empty his mental cup to accept what college could offer him.

Both speeches made me think about my own journey to CAC and how profoundly my experiences here and with Phi Theta Kappa have changed my life. I had a full mental cup when I came to Arizona. For me, emptying my mental cup required giving up the life I had back east. My goals, hopes, and dreams needed to be reevaluated.

I am an unconventional student. Five years ago, I started my college education at New York University, and believe me when I say, I have learned more at CAC than I ever did in New York. Self-examination taught me who I really was. Emptying my mental cup started that journey for me.

At the end of the Honors Induction, I spoke with friends I’ve made over the past two years, faculty, staff, community members, and students. This Thanksgiving, I will take a minute to acknowledge truly how thankful I am for having a second chance. Any student that feels their life is heading down the wrong path can correct it. Two years and two months ago, I walked into the advising office on the Maricopa Campus and asked my advisor how I could get my education back on track. I’ve kept a 4.0 GPA since, with hard work and a lot of support.

I don’t believe I’m an exceptional student, but Central Arizona College has offered me exceptional opportunities. I have listened when anyone told me to do something new (like join Phi Theta Kappa). Alas, my time at CAC is coming to an end. This will be one of my last editorials, so I want to encourage my fellow Vaqueros to take on that new challenge. Spend an extra hour volunteering or take up a new hobby that you have been dying to pursue. Life can always change course when you’re willing to empty your mental cup.