In my senior year of high school my best friend Sarah and I had our futures all planned out. Voted most likely to be roommates for life, we made plans to attend the same college together and had already picked out our perfect apartment. As the final days of high school drew near, Beth, a classmate of ours, asked if she could join us in our new apartment as she was attending the same college. Of course, I thought, the more the merrier! Afterall, it would be nice to be in an apartment of familiar faces my first time living away from home.
Summer came and went, and the fall semester was fast approaching. I packed up my ’87 Honda Prelude to the brim, ready to start my new adventure. Loaded with everything that wouldn’t fit in my car, my mother followed me in her car and four short hours later we were standing in the leasing building of my new apartment. Anxious to move in and get our room just as we wanted it, I asked the landlord if Sarah, my best friend and roomie, had arrived yet (this was long before cell phones and texting, and I had not been in contact with her prior to hitting the road). Much to my surprise I was informed that Sarah had chosen a different apartment for us. While this was odd, I got the directions to the new apartment and my mom and I got back in our cars.
We arrived at the new complex and I have to say, it was quite a bit nicer than our original choice, so I optimistically thought: maybe this surprise wasn’t all that bad. However, once inside the leasing office, my confidence quickly disintegrated. I found out that on top of moving us apartments, Sarah had decided to share a room with Beth instead of me and unfortunately all the other spots in that apartment were taken. I was given the choice of taking the last spot available in an apartment full of seniors or turning around and heading home. I realized that the plans Sarah and I had built together no longer included me and I had to quickly pivot as the apartment manager impatiently awaited my decision.
So many emotions flooded through me – anxiety, fear, anger, hurt. Why would my friend do this? What if my new roommates don’t like me? Would it be failure to turn around and go home? What about my college plans?
Pivoting in life can be scary, you know what is behind you, but have no idea what may lie ahead of each option, depending on the direction you choose. I decided that I was not going to let someone else’s actions determine my future. With one foot planted firmly in my plans to attend this college, I changed direction with my other foot and got the keys to my new apartment. I set myself a timeline, I was only locked into this decision for two semesters, just nine short months. If it didn’t work out, I was lucky enough to have a home to return to. I looked for small wins and celebrated the positives wherever I could find them. My senior roommates gradually accepted the new freshman (of course, they didn’t have many options as there were no other openings in the complex… or so my senior roommate told me after she tried and failed to get relocated). I found a job at a ski resort that I absolutely loved, I made new friends, embraced the uncertainty, and experienced opportunities that I may never have had if I hadn’t stepped out of my familiar bubble.