I’m a strong advocate of taking opportunities that come your way, because I think you never know what could happen, or who you could meet, or what you might find out you enjoy. Now, I may only have a viewpoint from a relatively small amount of time, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Over the last seven years, I’ve done various things I wouldn’t have ever envisaged doing. I took part in maths challenges (I am by no means a mathematician… even I don’t know how that came about), I’ve completed a course in creating apps, I’ve been published in a top science journal for winning a competition I was persuaded to do (again, I’m a literary person, and not a techy/mathsy/sciencey person in the slightest!), and I’ve been involved in drama productions. I’ve interviewed my local MP, written for a website, and spent a week gardening for a charity project in my summer holidays.
Looking back, there’s quite a few things I’ve done that I wouldn’t have thought I would enjoy. I submitted my article for the science journal expecting never to hear anything about it ever again, and even that I wrote while I was procrastinating a pile of homework. The writing for the website I did led to me interviewing the MP and the gardening project, which was one of the most enjoyable experiences. One thought that occurs to me is that I don’t regret taking any of these opportunities, because each of them brought something new into my life, whether it was simply realising I could do something, or whether it was just really rewarding.
I don’t think that thus far I’ve done anything particularly amazing or out of the ordinary, but everything I’ve done has taught me that it’s always right to take opportunity by the hand. I don’t think enough people out there let on that trying out loads of things is a really good thing; there’s too much emphasis on finding one thing you want to do and sticking to that. If you know what you’re interested in, then sure, work towards doing that, or making use of it, or whatever, but don’t let that stop you from trying other things. I’ve known since I was a little girl that I wanted to become a writer and an author, and that I wanted to go to university, but writing and reading aren’t the only things I spend my time doing. Even things I doubted I’d enjoy have surprised me, and I think that’s the beauty of taking opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times I look back and cringe at something I’ve done, or wonder how on earth I let people talk me into doing certain things, but at the end of the day, none of them are regrets. Anything you cringe about can be laughed about, after all.
Another thing I’ve learned is that listening to other people is quite often a good thing. There are numerous things I’ve been persuaded to do by others that have been great experiences, which is why I think it’s okay to let other people persuade you to do things from time to time – nothing dangerous, mind, just trying new things. You never know, if a friend enjoys something, you may too.