There is so much comfort in the familiar, in the places that slowly stop challenging us. We've become masters of these moments, these settings, these circumstances. We have become so accustomed to all that they entail, that when it comes time to leave, we are hesitant, nervous, sometimes even scared. I think that means that we're writing some pretty big dreams and goals for ourselves. You know, if things don't scare you a little bit, then you're probably not leaving your comfort zone. You're probably not seeing all that you are capable of. You're probably living on the other side of almost.
Situations bear options. They bear actions. And with these actions, we then face consequences - good or bad. We face situations where we either go for it or we retreat, and to think about the amount of times we've probably all retreated makes me wonder how many times we let a beautiful opportunity pass on by. How many times have we doubted our potential and hid behind anxieties or false belief. We are plagued by this almost. Sometimes we fear taking chances, but maybe one chance is really all we need to open up a brand new door.
In December 2015, my junior year winter break, I stumbled upon Harvard's Graduate School of Education website and their Human Development and Psychology program. In the plethora of psychology, human services, and education classes I took undergrad, there always seemed to be references from their Center for the Developing Child. How freaking cool, right? My wandering mind thought about my life post-grad, although so distant at the time, and imagined if I somehow got lucky enough to enroll in the program. Those daydream clouds quickly disappeared, and I thought, fat chance. I barely even knew how to apply to graduate school. My grades were good, but it's Harvard for God's sake.
Speaking with my advisor, she told me you really never know. The graduate application process is so different, and I would never know the outcome if I never applied. So as senior year rolled around, I spent all fall, on top of my busiest semester to date, preparing my applications to be sent out by Christmas. Schools I never would have ever considered undergrad graced my checklist. But I figured, what the hell. Why not. What do I possibly have to lose (except a few hundred bucks from application fees).
On Friday I will move to a brand new city, a place I've only seen and explored a handful of times. I will be thrown into the mix of meeting new people and making new friends. Academically, I will be among top professors and the hardest curriculum I will most likely ever face. I will take on the role as a graduate student, pursuing a passion to truly change the world. Boston will become my new home. Harvard will become my new school. And to think I could have still been standing on the other side of 'almost', wondering -what if I took this leap of faith and applied-. Instead, my mind is refreshed with an entirely new perspective, that I am capable. I am smart. I am assuming the role as a graduate student, pursuing a passion to truly change the world. And still I wonder, 'how can I be taught that? How to change the world.' But the cool thing about that is there are so many people to learn from, so many people who decided to take that same leap of faith and pursue a career in making a difference in others' lives. So many individuals who tested their limits to see what doors would open up for them next.
Imagine if I never took that chance. Hell, all of those chances, on all of those schools I never thought I had a chance at. Instead, I celebrated with tears of joys at the acceptances that came my way, allowing me to understand that ambiguity is not such a bad thing. If you never try, you may never know. So maybe we need to stop getting inside of our own heads. Maybe we need to stop talking ourselves out of things. Perhaps all we never knew about ourselves is on the other side of almost.