You might not think of me as much of a risk-taker.
“Sure,” you think, “G probably has her bursts of rebellion…but overall she seems to stick to the rules.” And here, I would have to say that you’re about 75% wrong.
The fact is, I was raised to take risks. I was encouraged to move forward without looking back, to take chances when it seemed like I should play it safe. After all, what’s the point in regretting something when you could have tried it out? My parents taught me that to take a chance and test my faith was a manner of trying my best. If I gave something my all, it didn’t count as a failure if it didn’t work out. If I took the jump and missed my target, I should just brush myself off and try again.
Okay, okay, so maybe I’m more of a metaphorical risk-taker. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done your typical movie-theatre-hopping, speeding-on-the-highway, and other rules-are-simply-suggestions rebellious behavior, but I suppose I do view taking chances in a more decision-based mindset. For me, a risky behavior is sometimes equated to accepting a challenge: it might be finding out why something seems so hard and then giving myself the opportunity to try and tackle it, or alternatively, make a mistake. I can honestly admit that most of my major life decisions have been made based on a discussion with myself about which would be more gutsy or lead to new paths and openings or be different than what I’ve done before.
But there’s still that lingering 25%, that percent where you correctly guessed I stick to the guidelines. I don’t tend to take huge risks academically. I go to all my advising appointments and take their opinions into consideration. I’ve always done all my homework, (tried to) do all my reading before class, and always followed the teacher or professor’s directions. I’m that student that feels bad skipping class, or is horrified when I miss an assignment. I am, for all intents and purposes, a nerd.
This semester though, I tweaked that rule-following part of me just a little bit. I channeled my leap-taking-self and decided to study abroad in Madrid next semester (cue excited screaming). Maybe this isn’t too surprising…I mean I tend to happily rant about my Spanish major and I’ve known since what feels like forever that I wanted to study abroad. But I never took the time to make it feel like it could actually happen: it was always a dream that I may or may not accomplish. The decision was a difficult one. In a span of two weeks I quickly realized I wanted it to happen and that Spring Semester would be my best option. It required me to meet with countless advisors and professors and disagree with a couple of them. I needed to excruciatingly plan out my schedule for the next year and a half, and make sure my classes abroad made sense, and that when I came back I wouldn’t be over-loaded. Many arguments with my parents, conversations with my friends, and slightly ridiculous Google searches later, I made my choice…and I’m beyond excited. I can’t believe it’s actually happening, and while I’m a bit nervous, I know that this risk, this leap of faith, is one that I won’t regret. So fasten your seat belts, because in a couple of months Brains and Spain is finally headed to Spain.