Opportunities Are Made for You

“Hell, there are no rules here — we’re trying to accomplish something.” -Thomas Edison

For me, life has always been about striving for greatness in the form of what others would find most impressive and what I deemed to be superior. Looking back at high school, that was most likely the driving force behind my desire to pursue medicine as my college concentration, despite having a clear love of writing and journalism.

The academic year at UChicago is starting next Monday and as I’m entering my third year I will be taking mainly classes for my two majors, Sociology and Spanish. Though it took until the spring of my first year to be completely honest with myself about wanting to seriously pursue journalism, I genuinely feel that I have become a better, more well-rounded person since then.

UChicago is home to students who typically think the only ‘valuable’ opportunities are those with a well-known company name attached to it or spending 100+ hours a week as an investment banking intern because you’re making a significant amount of money. The pressure of college is hard enough; combine that with the stress of meeting high academic expectations, overcoming awkward social interactions and figuring out who you really are and you’ve got yourself booked for the next four years.

That being said, the most important thing you can do is focus on what you enjoy most and WHY you enjoy it.
If you’re anything like me, you might find that what you’ve always thought you wanted to do (pre-med) and what you actually enjoy doing are two completely different things. College is about taking risks and never looking back to second-guess them. If you find that your passion lies in a concentration or profession that is not popular among the disturbingly ubiquitous Economics majors at UChicago (or nay-sayers of the world outside of UChicago); do not worry. You will graduate a better you for going after what makes you happy and pushing yourself to transcend the norms.

Since focusing on ME and what makes me happiest, I have:
1. Started two blogs, one of which was a pretty awesome news blog for UChicago students.
2. Gone VEGAN! Like three times now. AKA proving that I can last up to 11 weeks without my best friend: cheese.
3. Taken risks in the form of scuba diving (with sharks!!), cold-emailing a Chicago magazine asking for intern opportunities and meeting over coffee with an editor and reporter of the Chicago Tribune.
4. Dropped the stress. Seriously my stress level at any given time before focusing on writing was at a 12 on a scale from 1 to every UChicago student during midterms and finals weeks.

5. Embraced my creativity that three years ago I was 100% convinced I lacked completely. Now I find myself going to plays, thinking of the world in less narrow terms, getting lost in works of art and even just using this newfound creativity in every day things like cooking!

*Even if you don’t take my word for it, think of my good friend Thomas Edison, and recognize that accomplishments and opportunities come to those willing to forage their own path and ignore the societal norms.

{Do better and you’ll be better.}

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One thought on “Opportunities Are Made for You

  1. Jovanna says:

    So true, very positive outlook. Love this one, Lex. Proud of you. Proud of US!

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