Meyer’s Positive Attitude Drives him to Lead Protest

By: Jeremy Crane

Media by: Leo Mathard 

“Having a constant positive mindset has lead me out of the life struggles I’ve dealt with and has made me the man I am today,” Texas Wesleyan criminal justice major Elijah Meyer said.

Meyer was getting ready for his first practice as a member of the University of Texas’s football team. He was a freshman linebacker and felt as if he was in a whole new world.

“College football is a whole different animal, especially at the division 1 level,” said Meyer.

Meyer laced his cleats, grabbed his helmet, and ran through the tunnel to start his career as a longhorn.

The team had done their warm up routine and was ready to begin a team scrimmage.

“I just wanted to show my skillset,” Meyer said. “I had already shown my athleticism and strength through the team’s offseason program, so I really wanted to show what I could do on the field.”

Meyer lined up in the linebacker position ready to show what he was capable of. However, on the very first play, he made a hard cut and felt a pop in his knee.

“It was heartbreaking. It happened on the first play of my very first real college practice,” Meyer said.

He had torn his ACL and MCL in his right knee, causing him to be completely done for the season.

“It put me in a dark place,” said Meyer. “I just didn’t really have any hope that I would ever be the same player again.”

Meyer said that he went a few months with a terrible mental approach to the injury and that is what made his life such a struggle.

“I approached everything with negativity. I would see progress in my knee which is a positive thing, but I would focus on how I wasn’t able to play in the game that week, or that I wouldn’t even get to play all year,” Meyer said.

After a few months, Meyer’s parents took notice to their son’s mental approach and made sure to acknowledge and also try and help alter it.

Smilies leader Elijah Meyer and Smiley member Samantha Smoot spreading positivity. Courteously provided by Leo Mathard

“My parents were my main support in really driving home the importance of staying positive through troubling times,” Meyer said.

Meyer started to focus on positives only and to clear all negative thoughts out of his mind. He said that once he started to do that, life started to get more enjoyable.

“I started noticing my knee feeling as if it was healing quicker, and I made sure to really started to see how much progress I was actually making.”

Meyer changed his negative mindset to a positive one and he reaped the rewards. He decided to transfer to Texas Wesleyan where he felt as if he had a better opportunity for success and has loved every minute of it.

“That’s why I decided to lead the Smiley group these past two and a half months,” Meyer said.

The Smilie group is all about spreading positivity to everyone they come across. Meyer said that there’s definitely plenty of things occurring in the world that lead to negativity, but associating with that negativity doesn’t lead to anything productive.

“We all need to enjoy the life we’ve been given and focus on all the positive things we have going for us.”

Leader of Smilies, Elijah Meyer, and Grumpies leader, Shanice Evans, come to an agreement over self-expression. Courteously provided by Leo Mathard

Meyer led the Smilies in a protest against The Reals outside of the Eunice & James L West Library on Wednesday morning, March 28.

Meyer and the Smilies were trying to combat the negative views that The Reals were spreading.

After about an hour of protest, Meyer and the leader of The Reals, Shanice Evans, came to an agreement, which ceased all protesting.

This agreement was that expressing your feelings instead of suppressing is the ultimate goal.

“To express yourself no matter how you’re feeling is what me and Evans agreed to spread,” Meyer said.



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