Looking for Opportunity

Published by Thriving Erin on

 

Are you taking advantage of the unique opportunities surrounding you?

 

Are you even looking for them?

 

Two weeks ago, I took twelve university students on an overseas trip to Chicago. The trip was during Spring Break and is not for academic credit. It is part of a leadership program the school offers and provides students with the opportunity to visit various companies in the field of their degrees, attend a couple classes at our home campus, experience the student life at a  large American university campus, attend lectures by various specialists, and see some of the culture.

 

This was a great opportunity for these students and I was so impressed with the level of their engagement and the quality of their questions. It caused me to think back to my university experience. To be honest, I don’t know if my school even offered anything like this. I’m sure they must have had various programs, but I was so disconnected I never knew about them. I lived off-campus, drove to class, attended class, and left. I was always intentional to create a class schedule with as few breaks as possible so I wouldn’t be on campus any longer than necessary.

 

Now there’s not necessarily anything wrong with this, I learned a lot (though not as much as I probably could have), got my degree, and have moved forward into a pretty good (even if pretty random) career. It was pretty safe and pretty average.

 

This post isn’t about university, this post is about taking advantage of every opportunity. When I look at these students I see young adults who are getting the most they can out of their time at university, they are actively looking for opportunities that are unique to their current situation. I have been challenged to look at my own life, am I making the most of my situation? Am I taking advantage of unique opportunities I have access to? Am I fully invested where I am, making the most of every moment?

 

In some ways yes, and in some ways no. Have I missed out on some great opportunities simply because I wasn’t looking, or wasn’t paying attention? I’m sure I have. They’re not all necessarily going to be life-changing, but they can be opportunities to grow, learn, serve, or experience something I haven’t seen before.

 

What about you? Are you looking?

 

 

Categories: Musings

3 Comments

Cole Soutter · March 26, 2019 at 6:10 pm

Bravo! This is something I’ve also been thinking about lately. You know the saying ‘the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second best time is now’? I’ve got to thinking – which trees should I be planting right now and what are the costs of not doing so? Do you think you’re planting the right trees right now? Also – is there an opportunity cost if you choose to plant the wrong trees?

I’ve come to think, as long as you are planting trees or even thinking about it, you’re ahead of the game.

Helen Lim · March 26, 2019 at 8:16 am

Hi Erin, I appreciate the inquisitive mood of the piece. Your self reflection is evident. I love how you lead with the story.

I’ve had to marry this understanding of taking advantage of opportunities with making choices that align with my intentions. Or perhaps, first being clear about my intentions can help with taking advantage of the right opportunities. Do you have thoughts about this?

Maria Xenidou · March 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Hi Erin,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections on this topic.
I love how you asked questions to get us to think about our choices. I wonder why you might have chosen not to take advantages of such opportunities at the university. What held you back?
I am one of the people who is intentionally exploring the opportunities available to me. I value human interactions more than anything else. I love learning from others, sharing my life with people who I may not know much about and discovering the world through connecting with them. I think it’s the same desire that motivated me to live in three countries on four continents so far. It might be related to my curiosity and need to keep learning the world one human connection at a time.
Keep writing,
Maria

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