The Butterfly Effect

When I first started college, I wasn’t quite sure what major to select. I decided on a health related field and thought that challenging myself by taking on a minor would keep me busy and focused on school. I have always taken language classes and I enjoyed Spanish so I decided that that would be the best route for me. I took the entry level course my first semester of college but was unable to continue in my second semester, but just decided to start back up the first semester of sophomore year. Now there were quite a few options for Spanish classes, but because I am more of a morning person I took the earliest class available. None of my friends take language courses so often times I do not know anyone and this often leads to me having to make conversation with total strangers in the hope that class will be less awkward if I know at least one person. There were two girls that sat in the same row as me, and they appeared to be best friends. They were really funny, and I always left Spanish class laughing about something they had said. One day, one of the girls made a comment about an assignment and I cracked a joke. She laughed and eventually I became friends with the two of them. We ended up being in the same Spanish class the next semester and now we are all going to Costa Rica over winter break to study abroad.

Now, this story might seem a common way many people have met each other at college, but who would have thought that two random girls and I would become good friends. If you think about it, many things in the Universe had to come into play to lead up to this moment and that my friends is the butterfly effect. Now while this story does not seem rather extraordinary I may never have met these wonderful friends for a few reasons. It turns out that both of those girls went to high school together, but one of the girls is actually from New York. She lived with her aunt and uncle during her senior year of high school so that she could continue to go to school and not have to transfer back to New York. If she had gone back, she would most likely not have gone to New Mexico State University, would not have been in my Spanish class, and would not be traveling with us. In addition, if the other girl had decided not to go to State I would not have met her. Or if she had gone to State but not taken a Spanish class I would not have met her. Finally, if we had not all students who like early classes we would not be traveling buddies this year.

My point in telling this story is to illustrate that your smallest actions may end up having a huge impact. It all started with the idea that something as small as a butterfly flapping its’ wings could cause a tsunami half-way around the world. Now this theory may seem a little far-fetched; I mean a butterfly couldn’t cause a tsunami on its own. However, the idea is that tiny events build up and eventually cause bigger events to occur. However, these events would not occur or would occur differently if the smaller events that helped the bigger events were even slightly different.

So I’ve told you this story, but what does it mean? I like to believe that you never know what impact your actions, big or small, will have. So try and do all things with good intentions. And remember, the person you sit next to in class may become your new lifelong friend.

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