In another one of my classes this semester, we are reading a book that has a chapter on the butterfly effect. The theory states that a small incident at the beginning of a process, such as a butterfly flapping its wings, can produce a large variation in the long-term outcome like causing a tornado. The more we discussed this in class, I began to realize how applicable this was to my life.
When I was applying to college about three and a half years ago, I first submitted only one application. I had decided that I was going to go to Lenoir-Rhyne University. Due to the different health conditions I had been struggling with, I had never seen myself going to a college far from home. So, the fact that this was on 15 minutes away from the house I had lived in since I was 3 years old was a big selling point. I got my acceptance letter not long after I had applied, and made my mind up that I would continue my education there.
My family and friends suggested that I also apply to UNC, but I was strongly against it. Why would I spend $80 on an application fee for a school that I knew I wasn’t going to attend? I had loved UNC since I was a kid, but the thought of being over two hours away from home was terrifying. After the application deadline had come and gone, the decision was final. Or I thought it was at least.
A little while after the deadline had passed, UNC released a statement that they would be extending the deadline due to a hurricane that had effected North Carolina residents during the application time. When I saw this, I figured I might as well apply just to see if I was accepted. Turns out, I would be.
I made plans to visit Chapel Hill with the thought that I would still be attending Lenoir-Rhyne. What I hadn’t planned on was completely falling in love with the school. When I got home that night, I accepted my admission.
I look back at my whole college application process and think about how different things would be if I had not decided to come to UNC. It was certainly an adjustment, but it was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. That one decision has affected my life in a profound way, from the people I wouldn’t have met to the experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise had. That one decision has and will continue to affect my life, and I am grateful for that.