Be Open to Opportunities

Photo by  David Iskander  on  Unsplash

Danica Dishes


I often find myself writing about food because, let’s be honest, why not? However, I don’t come to you today with an article about Lincoln’s latest restaurant opening, a recipe or a food review. What I’m bringing to the table today is nothing of the sort. My apologies if you’re disappointed, but I encourage you to read on.

Trying to sit down and write this article–my very last article for The Clocktower as a student of Union College–my mind has drawn a blank. By the time you read through this article, you’ll likely (hopefully) find a piece with encouragement, wisdom, advice and maybe you’ll even get a laugh or two out of it.

But just know, that wasn’t at all how this piece started out. In reality, it came to be over the course of a late night backspacing every idea, one latte too many and, of course, with my hair up in a messy bun, per usual.

These past few weeks–possibly this entire semester even–have had me feeling antsy and I’ve found myself counting down the days until graduation. But in the midst of this last-minute rush, it wasn’t until I sat down to write this piece that I realized just how real this actually is.

I’ve been at Union since 2014, and in that time I’ve had so many opportunities come my way–for travel, growth, leadership and to truly learn who I’ve wanted to become. I’m grateful for each of these experiences because they’ve helped shape me into who I am today–someone I’m proud to be.

But I’m not going to sugarcoat things and say that my time at Union, no matter how beneficial, wasn’t filled with its share of difficulties.

These past five years have brought numerous tearful nights, many filled with self-doubt. I’ve been frustrated, I’ve pulled all-nighters and I’ve felt unmotivated, uninspired and simply discouraged at times. In spite of these negatives, I’ve had just as many–if not more–joyful, inspiring, thought-provoking moments–moments that made all the stress, tears and frustrations worth it.

People often say hindsight is 20/20, and I’d like to agree. But what if we could have that realization beforehand? What if it didn’t have to be hindsight? Would your choices and feelings differ if you knew, if you really knew, everything you’re stressing over would all work out in time?

I dare to say they would. That’s my goal–for myself, for you, for everyone: live your life like you’re going somewhere; live each day with gusto; and see each setback and trial as an opportunity. Because you, my friend, are going places.

You are destined for great things. And you will see it all fall into place someday. It may not be today, it may not be next week, but if there’s anything I’ve learned during my time here, it’s that even life’s most difficult setbacks can lead to your next great opportunity.

Danica Eylenstein is a senior studying communication.