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L.A. Times Columnist Steve Lopez Inspires Students at Freshman Convocation

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There is something magical about starting college. Not having class until 11 in the morning and going to do karaoke at City Walk on a Thursday night at 11:30 is a perk that no high school student has. That being said, there is also something magical about having The Los Angeles Times columnist, Steve Lopez, speak at your Freshman Convocation.

I started college at California State University Northridge on August 24th. I am getting used to the newfound freedom that comes with living in the dorms. I like my roommates and am involved in a couple of activities. I love my new sleep patterns and am already shocked by the abundance of homework. I’m majoring in journalism and am excited to take my first journalism course (journalism was not offered in high school). However, I've realized that I was really missing the point of college during my first two weeks.

Over the summer, I read a book called The Soloist by Steve Lopez. It’s a true story about a journalist (Lopez) who befriended a homeless man with a rare musical talent, named Nathanial Ayers. Throughout the book, Lopez becomes an advocate for homeless people and even gets the mayor to look at skid row.

In his 20-minute speech Lopez told his story about his friendship with Mr. Ayers. Everything he said can be found in his book.

At the end, he talked about finding your passion. He said, “Take advantage of an opportunity like this. Take advantage of your time here. If your major doesn’t work, switch majors. Do things that are a bit scary. Be willing to fail.”

Back to my original point: I missed the point of college. I got caught up in all the fun and I was just here for the ride. Mr. Lopez was inspired by Mr. Ayers, so he wrote an article about him. Mr. Lopez inspired me. So, I wrote an article about Mr. Lopez.

College is about being inspired and finding a passion. Sure, the ride is part of it, but passion takes priority. I hope Steve Lopez inspired the rest of the freshmen on campus too.

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