Embracing Opportunity | Goodnight Scholars Blog

David Moore ’23 is very enthusiastic about going back to in person activities after lockdown, and shares the many doors of opportunities that opened with every ‘Yes!’ he said.

After more than a year of lockdowns, quarantines, and exploring GrubHub options from the living room couch, the world outside might seem a bit more unfamiliar than it did before. Rules have changed, places have changed, and yeah, you’ve probably changed as well—I know I sure have. With things opening up, it seemed to me like I had so many different opportunities for enrichment in front of me, and it was a bit overwhelming. Many of these opportunities existed pre-pandemic, and some I was even fully aware of, but decided not to pursue. Then, before I realized it, I had zero options for enrichment, and I felt like I was stranded for a year and a half.

Then, as this school year was poised to start—BOOM! Choices abound and it’s like I’m in one of those arcade games where the tickets are flying around me in a tornado, and I have to grab as many of them as I can. If an opportunity for enrichment—be that personal, academic, or professional—presented itself to me, I said yes with no hesitation. Suddenly I went from a student who was doing undergraduate research and nothing else to a student who was a Goodnight Ambassador and Mentor, Chancellor’s Aide, graduate student, and working on a Master’s Thesis. My initial reaction after taking on all these duties was to doubt myself, naturally. How was I supposed to balance all of this, still do well in school, and stay healthy?

Perhaps you’re in a similar boat, where you’re willing to say yes to everything and now fear you’ve overcommitted, or perhaps you’re overwhelmed with choices and can’t commit to any of them. Either way, it’s okay. Everyone’s sense of normal has gotten kind of warped as of late, and there is no “right” answer. However, my advice to you in either situation is the same: take a deep breath, examine your schedule, and don’t underestimate yourself.

As the school year has started and so have all my other obligations, I’ve realized that I haven’t overcommitted. Sure, my schedule is fuller than it was when things were fully online, but just because it’s different doesn’t mean that it’s bad. This past lockdown made everything outside of my computer seem scarier than it was, and so when I signed up for all these new things, I doubted my abilities. In reality, I could do a lot more than I had been during lockdown; I just had to get back into practice.

As I’m getting back into the swing of things, I couldn’t be happier with where my choices are taking me. Not only am I meeting new and wonderful people, but I’m also exploring new academic and career paths that I wouldn’t have considered before. The past 18 months have shown me that things can change so quickly, even if you plan ahead. Being more open to change has led me to explore interests in fields from forensic science to consulting, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and beyond. Now instead of just saying yes when others came to me, I’ve started reaching out to others to explore things that interest me, and I couldn’t be happier with the journey I’m on.

So, if you’re in a similar situation where you’re coming out of lockdown and have a bunch of choices in front of you and you’re feeling a bit unsure, I say go for it. You’ve been inside for so long that you may not have a good idea of what you can do once you’re outside. Prioritize your health and take it slow at first—no need to jump in the deep end like I did—but don’t be afraid to say yes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at where things take you.