Don’t get me wrong; I love lists! Seriously, from keeping track of groceries to reminding me of my favorite songs, they help me in so many ways. No doubt about it: a little organization goes a long way. After writing many lists, I wondered if my lists have ever been wrong. I know it’s a weird thought, so let me explain.
I have noticed in my life some of the most meaningful experiences never appeared on my list or in the order in which I envisioned. My senior year of high school was one of the most exciting times. I remember one of the first things my guidance counselor told me was to make a list; a list for all the colleges I would be interested in applying to. That list was separated into three categories: match, safety, and reach schools. When I made my list, I neglected the “safety” school and focused all my energy on my reach school. I had my eyes set on Furman University, a charming liberal arts college in South Carolina.
Even though this time wasn’t long ago, I couldn’t tell you about my college list besides the first and last college on it. I distinctly remember writing down the last college, and I almost laughed. In my mind, SUNY Polytechnic Institute would never become a reality. I didn’t think I belonged to the small, local, tech school. The only reason I applied is so my parents would be relieved that I chose a school closer to home.
Then it finally came time to hear back from the colleges where I had applied. In a few seconds, I would find out my destined fate. All I could think about is Furman University. So, I quickly opened the link they emailed me. With my heart beating fast, I quickly scanned the page to find the most confusing word “waitlist. “I didn’t know how to react. I was disappointed yet hopeful in a way that there still might be a chance for me. However, as the weeks would past, it became apparent I needed to have another plan.
So, I went back to my list, secretly, hoping it would provide me some new insight. Even though I didn’t want to admit it at the time, there was another school actively pursuing me. That’s right … SUNY Polytechnic Institute. They were the first school I got accepted to, so they were slowly growing on me. Strangely, it also was the only school my twin sister and I both applied and got accepted to. Maybe it’s a twin thing, but when it came down to a decision, I couldn’t imagine being states away from my best friend. So, I went against my list and the advice from my advisor and chose SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Every day I’m so grateful I made that choice. My experience there has been amazing! The small campus became the perfect place for me to grow. I have been taught by the smartest minds and have made my closest friendships there. I would have never thought my last choice would become the best choice.
Even after that experience, I continue to make lists. When I started looking for internships for the summer, I first grabbed a pen and paper. Then I went to Google and searched for “summer internships near me.” The results were pretty underwhelming for my interest in marketing and communications. I wrote down the handful of companies that were offering positions, and that became my list. Unlike my college list ranked by priority, my internship list was organized by timing; I simply wrote down the opportunities I saw first. With that in mind, it may be a surprise that Indium Corporation was last on my list.
When I found out about Indium Corporation’s internship, I had already applied to the other internships on my list. By chance, I overheard a conversation of one of my classmates talking about the internship. If I had known about the internship earlier, I’m confident Indium Corporation would have been first on my list. When I first clicked on Indium Corporation’s website, I could tell they were different. I liked how Indium Corporation didn’t hide its internship program. There is a whole page dedicated to the program! I was able to read about past intern's experiences through blogs, which helped answer the endless amount of questions I had. Again, even though Indium was last on my list, it turned out to be the best choice!
Don’t worry, I still write lists! It’s just I’ve learned not to be completely dependent on them. Like many things, lists have limitations. Its main function is to prioritize and organize what is known. As we all know, life doesn’t always follow our plan. I think it’s best to leave some room for the unknown. This also reminds me of an exciting moment that happened to me last week. It was just a normal Monday; I had my typical to-do list of projects. In the middle of the day, my supervisor asked me to help brainstorm ideas for a product name. I thought that was so interesting! It wasn’t even on my list, but it ended up being the best part of my day. So, remember to be receptive to the unknown; it might bring the best experiences!
Until Next Time,