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This Isn't Going How I Planned

People always told me to not rush my college years and I fully believed them. I never took my college years for granted. I wasn’t in a rush to graduate and took in every day, even when I had to stay up for hours doing homework.

College isn’t for everyone and that is COMPLETELY okay. I don’t believe a degree defines you at all. There are many very successful people who didn’t finish college or even high school. As long as you have faith in the path you’re taking, that is all that matters.

A lot of people go to college because it was just the next thing after high school that society tells us is right to do. But for me, the importance of education was instilled in me at a young age so I knew if I didn’t have other pursuits that I would be going to college.

I remember when I was applying to colleges, I chose schools that I knew were big universities with big sports teams that also had majors that I was interested in. While doing my college tours, I fell in love with the University of Georgia when I visited. I also love Atlanta, I think I want to move there someday, and the University of Georgia was only about an hour or so away from Atlanta. I also wanted to get away from Maryland so bad for some reason.

I applied to eight schools. My dad forced me to apply to University of Maryland but that was my least favorite option because I wanted to get away.

I still remember when I opened my letter from the University of Georgia. I GOT IN...but got put on the waitlist so I couldn’t start until a semester after in the Spring. I was excited either way nevertheless but I wanted to stay on track to graduate in May 2019. So, I decided I would spend one semester at the University of Maryland and then transfer my credits.


Life has a funny way of working. Once I got to University of Maryland, I was living with my best friend since Kindergarten, Kathryn, and I had tried out and made the cheerleading team. But other than sticking to my school work and cheerleading that semester, I didn’t go out much or try to get to know other people. I was basically trying to force myself not to like the school because in my head I had these plans to escape to Georgia the next semester.

The deeper I got into the semester, the more I fell in love. I continuously stressed myself out trying to decide if I should stay at Maryland or go to Georgia. I am a person who strongly believes in sticking to my word and stays committed to what I choose to partake in. So, when I thought about how I would have to break it to my cheer coaches and team that I’d be transferring halfway through the cheer season, it just didn’t sit right with me. I had already tried out for the team knowing that I wasn’t planning on staying, but I never told my coaches nor my teammates that. When I made that commitment to the team, I didn’t feel like I could back out on the team like that, especially in the middle of the year.

Being the indecisiveness person that I am, I waited up until the very end of the semester to decide. After weighing all the pros and cons of UMD vs UGA, I decided to stay at UMD. It was hard for me to let go of my fantasy of being a UGA bulldog but I knew that I was where I was supposed to be as a Terp.

Looking back on the timeline of events in college, I realize how much UMD allowed me to grow.

From forming a tighter bond with my roommates/best friends who I consider to be like sisters, to losing friends, to falling in love with my college sweetheart who I thought I was going to marry at the time, to cheering in front of thousands of fans, to taking on new adventures and experiences, to meeting teachers and classmates that allowed me to build my career, I find a lesson with every experience.

Here we are today, almost a year now since I’ve graduated from UMD and I am SO glad I stayed. I built relationships with people who I will never forget and it gave me the opportunity to collaborate with people all over the DMV area. Yes sometimes I wonder how life would have been if I went to UGA but I don’t reflect on it for long because I realized you can’t live life according to plan.

What we planned for ourselves, isn’t always what life has planned for us.

I emphasize this all the time. The best things in my life so far were unplanned and impromptu. These things came to me and fell in my lap without me even going out of my way to look for them. You have to learn to accept what you have in the moment and appreciate it.

Whether it be not getting the dream job you wanted to land, not getting into that dream school, not getting that promotion that you’ve been working extra hard to get, you have to adjust your perspective to look at the bright side of the situation. It might not be happening how you want it to happen right now, but there is always the possibility that it will happen later or you’re being taken in a different direction for a certain reason.

There is a bright side to every situation. If you can learn to remain open-minded, practice gratitude, and share positivity, you will realize how much brighter you will feel. That goes for everything in life.

Most plans are useless almost as soon as they are acted upon. However, value will always be held in the original plan that you made. That plan defines the goal that we desire, even if it doesn’t go exactly according to that plan. But that's the most important part of the original plan - that we have a clear outcome in the end. The planning process, whether it be starting something like a business or as simple as an itinerary for a vacation, requires many options. Life ruling out different options for you that might have originally been in your laid-out plans is what leads you to your desired outcome.

There's a reason for why life is uncertain and that's because it rarely ever goes as planned.

- KD

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