Set the World on Fire

by Natalie Yuhas


“Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” St. Catherine of Siena


I thought I had everything figured out as a college student when freshman year came to a close. I was comfortable with my group of friends, had figured out how to manage my time, and knew the Newton bus schedule like the back of my hand without TransLoc. Content with how the year had gone, I returned home and started my job as a lifeguard at a fairly empty pool. With so much free time on my hands, I had plenty of opportunities to reflect on my year. Although my first year was incredible, I realized that I wasn’t fully utilizing all that Boston College has to offer. There weren’t many times when I tried hanging out with different people or doing different things and I felt pretty unsatisfied as a whole. I felt like I hadn’t quite found “me” yet.

“Stay true to yourself” is cliché advice that many students get before leaving for college, but there is truth in how important it is to find yourself in your time at BC and find out what you are truly passionate about. Joining that one club you care about, or finding a fulfilling major is energizing and inspiring. St. Catherine of Siena once said, “Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” Although she never had to worry about internships and resumes, St. Catherine understood the importance of being an individual. She was born in 1347 to a large, wealthy family in Italy and at the age of six had a vision that convinced her to devote her life to God. Her parents disapproved of Catherine’s decision and hoped that she would fit in better with the societal standards for girls at the time. Despite opposition, Catherine did eventually commit her life to God by joining the Third Order of St. Dominic and went on to become a nurse and an activist. She not only stood up for herself, but for what she knew was just and right in society.


Like St. Catherine, we need to take time to reflect on who we are, who we want to be, and what we stand for. It is easy to be influenced by friends, peers, teachers, and situations you find yourself in at Boston College. Getting stuck in the same routine with the same people is not only monotonous, but a waste of all the amazing opportunities here. This is the start of a new year and it is never too late to get on a new track and find out how to best use the gifts God has given you. This is the perfect time to explore what you believe in and where you stand. We are the future and the world needs people who are passionate and excited about who they are and what they do.


Carry your own torch and go set the world on fire.


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