What road are you taking?
Among all of the messages I would like to share with college students, especially those entering college for the first time, is the one I have written here.
At this time I invite you to ask yourself a few questions. Why did you choose the classes you’re taking this semester? Why did you choose your major? Your career path? Why have you made the decisions you’ve been making up to this point?
As we all know, college is a time when we make a lot of decisions, and it is at this critical point that I would like to offer some insight.
When I was a junior in high school, I was introduced to a choral arrangement titled “Frostiana,” which consisted of seven songs, one of which was “The Road Not Taken,” originally a poem by Robert Frost. About halfway through the song I started to cry because of how much the lyrics resonated with me, especially at that point in my life.
Now, a few years later, I realize that this poem was not only relevant at that time, but it’s something that still holds a lot of meaning to me, and that I think is relevant to many others as well.
While everyone likely has a slightly different take on these words, I take it to mean that as life goes on, we’ll be faced with many choices. Should I go down this path, or the other? Sometimes it may not be clear, and although we may try to look as far down each path as we can, there will come a point where our vision is blurred, and we are unable to see the destination of either path.
Ultimately, with the understanding that we do not have the ability to test both paths and then choose the one we like best, we must take a leap of faith and hope we did the right thing.
My advice, as I learned from Robert Frost, is that although it may be scary, sometimes it’s best to take the path that is unpopular, requires great courage, or isn’t what you expected to do. It may just make all the difference.
— Danielle Leibowitz, an Honors College student majoring in the teaching of mathematics, is UIC’s student member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.