Embrace your choicesBy Rachel Brown | 04/16/2015 9:04pm
I’ve always loved the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, and I’m sure you are familiar with the over-quoted ending, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” I used to think this poem was about paving your own way and not following others. But then we spent an entire class period talking about these lines in my 11th grade English class and I came to the conclusion that, really, this is just a poem about making a choice. You have two paths, and you have to pick one. You choose, and that makes all the difference.
In 2011 I chose to come to The University of Alabama. That fall I chose to join a sorority. The next year I chose to change my major, and then I chose to change it again. I chose to study abroad, I chose to mentor at an elementary school, I chose to write for the school newspaper, I chose to join Unlocked, I chose to accept an offer with Teach for America. My entire college resume is just composed of, well, my choices. But these choices shaped me, and they helped me to grow.
In hindsight, sometimes I wonder if I would still choose to attend The University of Alabama. There are times I have been disappointed, disillusioned and distraught with this university. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t looked at transferring – multiple times. But I chose to stay, and that has made all the difference. I am who I am today because of this university and because of my experiences.
Because I chose to join a sorority, I lived the pivotal moment when our final barrier was removed. I learned from others the power in raising your own voice when you don’t think something is right, and that is irreplaceable. Because I chose to study abroad I opened myself to new cultures and new people, and I became humbled in my own limitations. In choosing to mentor I discovered my passion – education, and in choosing to write for The Crimson White, I now get to write you this column.
Every day we make choices. In fact, the reality of life is that, really, it is just a series of the choices we make and their outcomes or consequences. If I leave you with anything, I leave you with this: Embrace your choices – the great, the good, the bad and even the ugly. Because let’s be honest, we all make bad choices, too. But be grateful in your right to be able to choose. The beauty of choices is that there will always be another crossroads. You can choose to not let your mistakes define you, choose to be better, choose to be healthy, choose to be different. You can choose to be good.
Embrace the choices you make, because they will make all the difference.
Rachel Brown was the News Editor of The Crimson White.