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By: Ray Garcia “At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” The end of fall quarter reminds me of how dynamic life can be. In the beginning, there’s a type of invincibility that comes with an unweathered spirit, but that feeling seems to become almost nonexistent over the span of those 11 weeks. In Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”, he tells an enlightening story of a young, Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who has a recurring dream of a wonderful buried treasure. It is then he decides it’s his destiny to discover this fortune - his own personal legend. Along the way, Santiago is faced with a plethora of obstacles that force him to look within himself. In one of the novel’s pivotal moments, he is faced with the task of turning himself into the wind. When Santiago begins to believe that it’s impossible, an alchemist tells him that the “fear of failure” is the only thing that can stop him from achieving his goals. Amidst Santiago’s soul-searching and his surrounding adversity, Coelho’s novel reminds me of the experiences we face in adjusting to the new school year. Everything is so uncertain, and the tasks ahead may seem overwhelming. However, in connecting with the self, you can understand that it’s not about the length or difficulty of the journey, but about the person we become at end result. Nothing is merely a mirage. Like Santiago, we can find our own oasis in the harshest of deserts. We, too, can succeed in completing our own personal legends - but only if we will it to be. This book can be checked out at Western Libraries.  

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