Say Yes to Adventure
April 14, 2014
Blogger: Columbia Shafer
I’ve come to the realization that being abroad for a semester is sort of like being a first year in college again. I’m at a new school, making new friends and adjusting to new social norms. I first noticed this most clearly during my first few days of classes at the University of Otago; I had no idea where I was going or how to get there and I was loving it. I had the challenge all over again of navigating a new campus trying to find my way through mazes of buildings in time for a new class. The comparison doesn’t stop there - I also have the same sense of excitement and enthusiasm again. Every little thing, even getting lost on the way to class, is an adventure.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever gotten was from my high school college counselor. His advice was during the first month of college to say yes to every new opportunity I was presented with. The idea behind this advice was that you never know what new activity or place is going to be a favorite. Maybe you’ll find out that tango dancing is your thing, but the only way you can discover this out is by trying it. I decided to follow this advice, after all it came from the same counselor who suggest that I might like Oxy, so I figured he knew a thing or two. This advice worked well for me during my first year at Oxy. Because of it I said yes to a beach trip where I ended up meeting some of my best friends, I tagged along to a theatre department meeting that led to me stage managing off and on for the last three years, and I joined all sorts of other new clubs and activities. Since the say yes rule worked so well for me at Oxy I figured I’d give it a whirl again in New Zealand. Since getting to New Zealand I’ve said yes to all sorts of new things. I've spent a night sleeping in beach caves along the coast, I've hiked up a snow topped peak stoping to drink water straight from a waterfall, learned how to play the quintessentially Kiwi game of Netball, gotten stuck in herds of sheep (pictured to the left), and most surprisingly to myself I bungee jumped!
If you are in the lucky position of choosing your future college right now, I’m a little jealous. I’m jealous of you because you are just beginning the adventure. I’m going to pass along the best piece of advice I’ve gotten: starting with the reply letter to the school of your choice say yes and just keep on saying yes on your journey because you never know what amazing doors and experiences you will get to experience.