By Laci Sutton / Opinion Page Editor

I am a huge believer in carpe diem. Cheesy, I know, but life is short so we truly need to make the most out of the time we have.

I am 21-years old and have been blessed with so many incredible opportunities in my life.

A few of them have been very unexpected, but I’m glad I’ve taken them.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to work in the medical field. In high school, I decided I was destined for nursing school.

I knew this path would involve an abundance of science and math classes.

What I didn’t realize was that my journey would also include journalism.

During my sophomore year at Hutchinson Community College, one year before I started the nursing program, my best friend became the editor-in-chief for the Collegian.

She came to me and invited me to join the staff as a writer. I was very hesitant at first. I had no journalism experience whereas a good majority of the staff were journalism majors. I was the black sheep, but I stepped out of my comfort zone and took the plunge.

I’m so glad I did, because I found a family. College is a crazy place, but I found a place that I felt welcomed and that I belonged. Though I thought of myself as a black sheep, they never made me feel that way. I found my people.

I won an award at the annual Kansas Collegiate Media contest during my first year, and felt an improvement in my writing with each article I wrote.

Here I am, in my second year of the nursing program and year three with the Collegian, busy as a bee but loving it.

I embraced an opportunity that was presented to me, and I’m very glad I did.

Another huge opportunity I’m blessed to have is taking a trip out of the country.

I saw a post on Facebook almost three years ago about a trip to Italy sponsored by HutchCC. I joked with my best friend about signing up.
What started as a joke is now our soon-approaching reality. In eight short months, I will be spending a week traveling to Florence and Rome.

If I would’ve told myself five years ago I would be doing this, I would’ve told you you’re crazy. I’m a small-town girl, working a part-time job while going to school full time. There’s no way I’m going to fly across the world and spend a week in a new country with a group of strangers.

Yet here we are. Life is crazy like that sometimes.

Taking risks is scary. Getting out of your comfort zone is scary. Trying new things is scary. The scary is good. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day. Embrace the chances you’re given and live life to the fullest. You never know how much life you have left to live, and who knows, it may turn out to be one of the best decisions you make.

Laci Sutton is a Nickerson senior studying nursing. She is the Collegian Opinion Page Editor.

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