Finding Your Path on the Bridge of Life: Reflections on Graduation



May 11, 2023

As I head into the last week of my undergraduate career, I’m reflecting on how much I’ve grown in the past four years, and how many unpredictable life events shaped my college journey. A global pandemic defined three quarters of my time in college, and it taught me to sometimes let life take over from our plans and deadlines and to ride the wave where it takes us. I’m feeling nostalgic about this journey, but also very proud for all I’ve been able to accomplish and how much I’ve learned from this experience. As I head into my next chapter at law school, I am excited to take my skills and experiences with me to continue growing and learning.

Whenever I’m going through a big transition or change, I tend to think a lot about the passing of time — how quickly it goes and how much it affects the people around me. I’ve learned that time is the most valuable gift, and with each passing moment we are using more of this limited resource. 

I often feel conflicted about this: how to use my limited time with the people I love, but also to continue building my future. One of my favorite lessons in Judaism guides me in finding an answer to this dilemma – Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, an 18th and 19th century Hasidic rabbi and the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, has a powerful saying about finding courage when facing an overwhelming world. The Rabbi says, “Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tsar m’od v’haikar lo l’fached klal: The whole world is a narrow bridge, but the essence is to not be afraid.” Rabbi Nachman teaches that we’re often caught between two ends of a very narrow bridge. The Rabbi reminds us not to be afraid, and that ultimately, paralysis caused by fear is what should be avoided. I often find myself in that position, as I yearn for time to hold still to enjoy each moment, but also spend every day working towards my future. I use this wisdom to keep me moving forward and striving for my dreams. 

In my Hillel leadership journey, this idea has guided me when I’ve struggled to make a decision and it has inspired me to keep moving forward in my leadership journey. We may find ourselves stuck in indecision when it’s time to make a change or take action that affects others. Rabbi Nachman’s teachings have given me the confidence to make tough decisions and keep pushing forward to the next challenge so I can grow and help others around me. 

Throughout my term as Co-Chair of the Hillel International Student Cabinet, I’ve worked with other student leaders to impact the cabinet and create lasting changes. Often, this required big decisions, and I was inspired to make those with confidence. 

As I head to law school in the fall, I feel empowered by the incredible experiences I’ve had throughout college and as a Hillel student leader. Hillel has taught me the power of community and how the voice of an individual can create change. I will use these lessons to make the most of my law school experience and my career. 

Rabbi Nachman’s teachings are timeless, and as I continue to navigate the narrow bridge of life, I’ll be looking back at his wisdom constantly. My wish for all my fellow graduates and soon-to-be Hillel alumni is to not be fearful and to boldly take the steps to the other side of the bridge as we continue to build our future and make a difference in the world.