“Trust the process” is a motto many people live by.
I’m the type of person who is always second guessing myself, so trusting the process hasn’t always come easily to me. Sometimes though, it’s the right thing to do.
The Philadelphia 76ers, my favorite sports team in the world, has used this motto for the last few years.
In 2013, the Sixers underwent a rebuilding process. The team allegedly threw games in order to have a poor record and yield a top draft pick. The plan was that with an accumulation of top draft picks, they would eventually have a solid enough foundation to build around in order to pursue a championship.
In the 2013-2014 season, the Sixers had 19 wins and 63 losses. They did even worse the following season, with 18 wins and 64 losses. However, the 2015-2016 season was arguably the worst season performance by any team in NBA history as the Sixers only won 10 out of their 82 games.
I’ve lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia since I was 7 years old. Being a Sixers fanatic, it was painful to watch a team that I loved lose that badly year after year. I was constantly attending games that were blowouts. The Allen Iverson days were over, and the excitement was gone. There was only one thing for me to do.
Reluctantly, I trusted the process.
The 2016-2017 season was the last losing year that the Sixers had. It was during my senior year of high school. The team finished second-to-last in the Eastern Conference with 28 wins and 54 losses. However, during the 2017-2018 season, things began to change for the better. The early draft picks yielded Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, two of the game’s most prolific young talents. From a fan’s perspective, things were finally looking good.
On the other hand, this was during my first year of college, and it was a time where I had some significant decisions to make for myself. I had no clue what I wanted to do or what path I wanted to pursue, which greatly increased the difficulty of my course selection process.
I finally decided I would use my first year to experiment, so I took a variety of courses. I hoped something would catch my interest because it seemed like everyone around me had things figured out. Their majors were selected, they knew what they wanted to do post-college and their academic plans were seemingly set in stone.
On the other hand, I was constantly pivoting. I applied to Lehigh as an English major, took classes in the areas of pre-med, pre-law and business during my first year, all of which served to underscore my indecision as to which major to pick. During my first year, I switched my major from English to economics to journalism.
As I started my sophomore year, I had different plans. I had my mind set on being a philosophy major. By the end of the semester, however, I decided to return to majoring in economics.
This is still a time for me that is filled with great uncertainty and frustration. As I continue to get older, I feel more rushed to decide what path I want to take. However, following the Sixers along the way has made me realize that things will work themselves out as long as I trust the process and believe in the system that I am a part of.
It took years for the Sixers franchise to turn around from one of the worst records in NBA history into a team that now has a legitimate shot at an NBA championship. The Sixers players bought into the system and are trusting the process until the team meets its goal of becoming world champions.
I chose to attend Lehigh because I believe this institution will help me find my passion and area of interest. Even though I do not have a strong passion yet, I believe that one day I will find it. Until that day comes, I will trust the process. In this case, it’s the right thing to do.
Alex Woods, ‘21, is an assistant lifestyle editor for The Brown and White. He can be reached at [email protected]