For many of us here who attend UT, we live in a type of bubble. Although this may not apply as much to those who commute here, those who live in or close to campus understand this phenomenon. Living here at UT creates a type of microcosm, as most of us have our basic needs – food, water, exercise, even friends – very close by. As a result, we may find ourselves out of touch with the rest of the country and the world in relation to news and events. Even the Super Bowl that occurred Sunday was not immune to this. However, that doesn't mean that everyone ignored the Super Bowl.

On the contrary, I saw quite a few people on computers throughout the library on illegal streams of the game, cheering and supporting their team, while bashing the opposing team. I myself watched the game as well, instead of studying for my then-upcoming BCMB exam. Seeing the game, it fascinated me to see these players compete to the very best, smashing each other's faces and bones to insane extents. Initially, the San Francisco 49ers had a very disappointing start, and up until the third quarter, it seemed like the whole game would lead to an overwhelming victory by the Baltimore Ravens. However, later events didn't follow that predicted path, and instead, the 49ers had a comeback. Although they may have lost, there are still a few things one can take to heart from the game.

Our nation is plagued with an ever-growing list of problems and tragedies, with the recent widespread shootings being an unfortunate addition to said list. This doesn't mean that we should be ignoring these and think that they are impossible to find solutions to. We can say that being here at UT makes it harder to keep up to date with events, but all that does is make us look like ignorant, indifferent imbeciles that would rather save face instead of trying to do what is right. That, I think, is a problem with our society – we care too much about reputation instead of trying to work hard or become morally open people.

When things get difficult, we always want to give up immediately. There's no doubt that the head coach of the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh, thought of completely giving up at one point during the game, as he saw his team get steamrolled, play-by-play. He might've thought to himself, "At this point, I should stop caring; it'll be easier that way." He didn't give up, however, and he even managed to get his team back into the game. He kept fighting to strive to lead his team to be the best, and even though they didn't win, there's no doubt that people must recognize his ability to effectively coach and inspire his team to go even further.

The Super Bowl, in a sense, reflects part of our society today. Just as we have problems, so did the Super Bowl, evident in the surprising power surge that knocked out half the lights in the Superdome. One can't help but relate it to our own power outage that recently occurred in North and South Carrick, which also inconvenienced many students for days. The amazing comeback performed by the 49ers was surprising by itself, but the fact that they managed to break the Super Bowl record for surpassing the largest point deficit and have the longest kickoff return for a touchdown – 108 yards -- were two other merits they had. If there was anything to take away from the game, other than bloated stomachs, lots of dirty dishes, and a sore throat from screaming and raging so much, it is that one should continue to work hard for the rest of one's life, even if it would be easier to give up. You will never know how much you can achieve if you don't put forth the effort and willpower for it. As Beyoncé herself said before the halftime show: "Excellence must be pursued, it must be wooed, with all of one's might and every bit of effort that we have."

— Jan Urbano is senior in microbiology. He can be reached at jurbano@utk.edu.