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NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION, 8/19/23

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Taylor speaks on resilience and personal growth at FIRST CLASS

Taylor speaks on resilience and personal growth at FIRST CLASS
Jeremy Taylor, a 2007 Campbellsville University graduate, encouraged Campbellsville University freshmen to make the most of their time at Campbellsville University. (Campbellsville University Photo by Gerard Flanagan)

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – During the middle of a game his freshman season on the Campbellsville University men’s basketball team, Jeremy Taylor made his mind up.

He was done playing basketball.

“In my mind, I decided it wasn’t for me,” Taylor, a 2007 Campbellsville University graduate, said during FIRST CLASS at Ransdell Chapel Nov. 29.

“I made the decision, in the middle of the game, after the final horn sounds, I’m going to my locker, pack my things from my locker, go into the parking lot at the Powell Athletic Center, get in my vehicle, and I’m never coming back.”

As he walked to his car, Taylor saw his father. After airing his frustrations to him, Taylor’s father asked him a question.

“In that moment, my dad asked me a question that really led me down a path of asking myself some questions,” Taylor said. “He said, ‘Jeremy, let me ask you this. Is making an emotional decision and quitting when things aren’t going well, is that what is best for your future? Is this the best way to make a decision?’”

Taylor’s father suggested his son focus on finishing his freshman season and making a calculated decision during the offseason. His father’s advice resonated with Taylor.

“He spoke to my heart,” he said. “He empathized with how I felt, and he said this to empower me: ‘At the end of the day, it’s your life, your choices, your decision, and no matter what choice you make, you’re still going to be my son, and I’m going to love you no matter what.’”

Taylor decided to stay on the team, though he said things got worse before they got better. He also battled through injuries and missed a third of his sophomore season.

“I made a decision not to quit, and the difficult part was managing the decision and committing to staying,” Taylor said.

Taylor shared several questions that he said helped him become a better person, student-athlete and follower of Jesus Christ.

One of Taylor’s questions was: Am I living each day with gratitude?

“There are some things in life that don’t go as planned,” Taylor said. “There are some things in life that don’t feel good, are uncomfortable, inconvenient, but at any moment, I can slow down and focus on gratitude.”

Another question Taylor posed was: What does success look like?

“At the time we’re living in, we see people who are trying to show us what the world’s definition of success versus focusing on what our Creator’s definition of success is, which is living our life at our highest capacity, honoring Him, advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

At one time, Taylor said he thought he was only as successful as the vehicle he drove, the shoes he wore, how many points he scored in a game or how popular he was.

“But, thankfully, God humbled me,” Taylor said.

Taylor also asked, “How am I treating people along the way?

“With the opportunity to do great work comes the great responsibility of taking great care of people in the process,” Taylor said.

Finding the answers to these questions will result in change, which can be uncomfortable and scary, Taylor said.

“Change means taking a risk and doing something different,” Taylor said. “When you do something different, you lose control of the outcome. Growth is inevitable, but growth can’t take place without change.”

“What changes do I need to make that will send my life on a better trajectory and will put me in a position to win for the right reasons with the right motivation?”

Campbellsville University’s FIRST CLASS gives freshmen the opportunity to hear the gospel with emphasis on Christian character development and servant leadership.

“I hope these questions challenge you and really get you to begin thinking about who you are and what you want to accomplish in your life,” Taylor said.

“This season of life will go by fast. Make the most of this opportunity you have at CU to develop yourself, learn from credible leaders and build relationships that could potentially serve you for the rest of your life.”

Taylor was born and raised in Campbellsville, Ky. He now lives in Somerset, Ky. According to his biography, Taylor is an inspirational speaker, leadership trainer and personal development coach. His biography said he has a passion for meeting people where they are, encouraging them to stay positive, and helping them grow through life.

He and his wife, Jaala, have one son, Miles.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.