My experiences in college have been a testament to the idea that there is actually no Yellow Brick Road, as Arts & Science dean Dr. Sacha Kopp says in one of his letters to Stony Brook University students (reprinted in a blog that my professional writing class read this fall). Prior to entering college, I had this very set plan about what I was going to pursue and how long it was going to take me. As I began freshman year, it was very apparent that there were two categories that you could be placed into- those who knew what they wanted to do and those who were clueless. I was fortunate enough to know exactly what I wanted to do but I definitely faced my fair share of obstacles.
Although my major/AOI (area of interest) didn’t change upon entering college, my path definitely has. I had planned on applying to nursing school as soon as I could and getting done with school in the typical 4 year span. Shortly after my freshman year, I realized that my plans would have to be tweaked a bit. I ended up having to retake a class that was a prereq of another class that I needed so that pushed my plans back my a semester or two. Like anyone else would, I began to panic and rethink my entire career choice. After much planning and deliberating, I decided that I would still pursue nursing, but that I would just approach it differently. My plan now is to apply to accelerated nursing programs after graduation. This allows me to apply for nursing school with a bachelors and leaves me with a back up if need be. Based off of the position I am in now, I believe that this is the better and more efficient route for me to take. The whole experience definitely showed me that there is more than one way to get somewhere and everyone’s journey is unique.
As someone who is not involved much on campus, I take the line “Leave time for that ‘other stuff,’ check out a student organization, establish relationships with faculty, students, and mentors, and allow one’s self the permission to try things out.” to heart. I’ve been disappointed with my lack of community here at Stony Brook and I really want to try and become part of campus. Although I don’t know how to start, I plan on going to more club fairs next semester and throwing myself out there. In the end, this will not only benefit me socially but the relationships and connections I’ll make will benefit me in more ways than one. I’ve spoken to multiple people and have been told countless times that life is all about the connections you make. You truly never know who you’re going to meet and where those people can take you.
College is an extremely stressful time and it may feel almost impossible to relax and enjoy your time there. Kopp says, “No one I know would say they’re doing exactly what they imagined 20 years ago, but each of us are happiest when we remain open to new opportunities all along the way.” It is very important to keep an open mind and try not to have high expectations when going through life. There’s always a chance that you may come across something unfamiliar and end up liking it. Always being open to new opportunities and ideas allows you to be susceptible to anything which broadens your horizons. Sometimes being fearless and biting the bullet really pays off.