I’m sitting here trying to compose a reflection on my experience on Residence Life staff this semester and I don’t have a whole lot of motivation. It is the end of the year, I am sick, and I really just want to lay down with a good book and read until I fall asleep. But thinking about this reflection has me considering the effects of my decision to study abroad in the fall. Returning to a floor of residents who have little want for an RA has been a tough adjustment after the experience of my first year on staff. Given the other complexities going abroad in the fall created, I naturally wonder if maybe I did not make the right decision. Should I have went abroad this semester instead?
It is so easy for us to think about decisions we made and question whether we should have acted differently. But the truth is every action has a consequence, and the ripples are actions make have effects we cannot even begin to process. Let me explain. I chose to go abroad in the fall, despite numerous problems it caused including a difficult senior schedule, a tough experience on residence life, and an inability to focus right now (I would not be focusing if I was in Denmark, but that would be okay). It really was a terrible decision in some respects, but I was intent on going in the fall. Thinking now that I should have switched has got me considering the many things that resulted from my choice, and I could never say I would want anything different.
- I met Peter, Kaitlyn, Lauren, and Ava, some of the best people ever.
- I found a new Danish family that I love very much.
- I get to spend the last semester with all my senior friends
- The lessons I learned abroad have really helped me formulate a passion and direction in my studies and career goals.
- Even more importantly, my experience abroad taught me how I was failing to nurture my relationships. Since I have been back I have brought a new depth to my most treasured relationships and I really could not be happier for it.
That’s only 5 simple reasons my decision was an excellent one, and only one of them I could have foreseen before I left. The point is we make decisions every single day and we cannot possibly know the consequences they will have. Looking back is always easy because we see everything that has happened and we can start drawing connections. But even in hindsight we cannot know if those connections are real.
I apologize if this is somewhat unclear, I am sick and definitely not in the best mental form. But this has been stealing my attention for a while and I really wanted to express myself.