Blog Column: 

Ryan’s Question: Would you say that you ever feel inspired to do random things that you previously had no interest in? If so, has this occurred more once you attended college?

Amberly’s Answer: Well, you know me, Ryan. I am not typically inspired to do random things. I am a thoughtful, cautious person. My brain tends to map out all of the possible effects of my decision, even as I’ve just made it. It maps out all of the possible ways it can go wrong, all of the possible ways it can go right. If I’ve chosen to do something “randomly,” it’s likely I quietly did some research before choosing to undergo the experience.

I think, though, that college has allowed me to be more spontaneous in a way I haven’t been before. This was especially true during freshman year when I was encouraged to try all sorts of classes and clubs. Beyond freshman year, though, a lot of my spontaneity has to do with the fact that there are so many amazing things happening at UMass at any given moment. My Facebook dash is filled to the brim with invitations to cool events: everything from craft nights at the Yuri Kochiyama Cultural Center to lectures on slavery in the Pioneer Valley.

It’s the beauty of going to such a large school, I suppose. Something is always going on. My schedule is never cemented because it’s likely I’ll find an event I want to go to and abandon my original plans at the last minute.

Beyond that, though, I’m not hugely spontaneous. There are plenty of events for more STEM-orientated folks that I don’t really touch, nor do I feel inspired to. I don’t feel as though I have the proper training or background for events like those. Whether I actually need that background, I am unsure. In addition to background, though, my decisions are based on time. As a student, I am busy with my classes, my thesis, and my job. I may not have time to be spontaneous!

Just because I may not have the time or the desire to, though, doesn’t mean I can’t be spontaneous or random. The great thing about college, as I mentioned earlier, is that people expect you to be random and spontaneous. College, if nothing else, is supposed to be a period of exploration for you. And if being random and spontaneous helps that exploration, then by all means, be both!

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