Dr. Edith Eger: “A Survivor’s Story”

Life is full of challenges. Each and every one of us has faced, is facing, or will face challenges that will shape our lives and contribute to our individual identities.

Defining qualities we as humans possess are our intellectual strengths, our decision-making abilities, and our problem-solving capabilities. Our capacity to design our destinies and choose our paths in life is what has us at the top of the food chain, and nobody is exempt. Each one of us is in control of our own lives.

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Dr. Edith Eger might have one of the most admirable and fascinating stories of survival, perseverance and triumph I’ve ever heard. Today, she is a Ph.D, an author, a college professor, and a public speaker. 71 years ago, however, she was a teenage girl imprisoned at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz, condemned to the same horrific fate that claimed the lives of six million innocent Jewish people, including both of her parents.

But Eger survived the war, and after her rescue by American troops she began rebuilding her life. The challenge of moving forward from such a traumatic experience is simply unimaginable, but she did, and tonight at 7 p.m. in the SURC Ballroom, Dr. Eger will be in attendance to share her story and offer words of wisdom and encouragement to those who may be facing challenges of their own.

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Success is subjective to each of us, and is defined by our wants and goals in life. Success is refusing to settle. Success is conquering that which stands in our way and creating our own realities in life. Success is always within reach.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Like accepting defeat would be easier than battling challenges, and that maybe it’s just inevitable? I’ve felt like that too. In fact, I’ve succumbed to it; I’ve dropped out of college. Twice.

It is not easy to fight your way forward when it feels like the world is pushing back, but you most certainly have the strength to overcome what may feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders.

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We have a funny way of rationalizing defeat. It’s easy. It’s easier to concede to a challenge than to prevail over it. Some challenges are minor, like overdue bills or a flunked class. Some are major, like academic or financial aid suspension. But it is what you decided to do when faced with a challenge, how you decide to respond to it, that speaks of your character and resolve.

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