Never In A Million Years

I have always been someone who has planned ridiculously far ahead. And despite my ludicrous planning tendencies, my future never really seems to go the way I plan for it to go.  

Sophomore year of high school I was already researching universities I thought I would want to go to. All of them were in Minnesota or New York and I was convinced I knew where I was going to end up.  

The summer before my junior year of high school, I was convinced I would play volleyball through my high school career and maybe even continue through college.  

Junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to study abroad at some point during my college career. Not only did I know I wanted to study abroad—I also knew I wanted to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain. 

During the summer before my senior year of high school, August 1 came around and I immediately started applying to any school that would let me. Fast forward to September 1, and I applied to the schools that wouldn’t let me apply back on August 1. I applied to seven schools that month due to the paranoia I was experiencing about not getting accepted to I wanted. I was 100 percent convinced I knew where I wanted to go.  

When I applied to the university I currently attend, 18-year-old me was certain that I would be an Organizational Communications major and that I would rhetorically analyze the crap out of everything because it was what I loved to do.  

Well, let me tell you how plans can change.  

First things first—I am currently a student at a university in Illinois—not Minnesota and definitely not New York.  

Secondly, I decided volleyball wasn’t for me after the head varsity coach told me I would never have a spot on varsity, even once I was a senior. So I opted to join the speech team, audition for the fall musical, and audition for the top choir at my school. I ended up being able to do all three activities and I gained skills in those organizations I never would have obtained by solely playing volleyball.   

What about study abroad? Oh, yeah. I found out that they speak mostly Catalan in Barcelona—not Spanish. So where did I end up going? Madrid—which ended up being the experience of a lifetime.  

That school I was convinced I was going to go to? Yeah, I definitely didn’t end up there. October 2013 rolled around and I was accepted to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. By the end of November, I had visited, fallen in love with the school, confirmed my enrollment and put down my housing deposit.  

High school graduation came around and then summer orientation at Bradley. Before I even moved to campus, I knew I wanted to change my at-the-time declared major of Organizational Communications and add a couple of minors. Immediately I had my mind set on graduating in May of 2018 as an Advertising major with a double minor in Spanish and Graphic Design. (And all of that STILL changed a couple years later—I have decided to focus more on language so I am now an Advertising and Spanish double major!) 

High-school-aged Savannah wasn’t leaving much room for change. 

But, let me tell you, change happened. And now, as I am creeping closer and closer to adulthood and as most of my college career has passed, college-aged Savannah has realized you can only plan so far ahead. 

I have begun to realize that not leaving room for change can come back and kick you in the butt. If you plan too far ahead, then you don’t leave any room for spontaneity or for any amazing opportunities that may come your way. You don’t leave any room to do things you never thought you would do. As if that isn’t enough, sometimes life doesn’t allow you to pick and choose.  

Never in a million years did I plan on going to a university in Illinois.  

Never in a million years did I envision myself double majoring in Advertising and Spanish. 

Never in a million years did I picture myself in Madrid, Spain.  

Never in a million years did I think I would have interned as a writer for a company whose focus is not on advertising—but rather food redistribution.  

Never in a million years did I think I would be attending Bradley University.  

But thankfully, I allowed life to take its course. It forced me to be open to more and more and allowed certain opportunities to fall into my lap—I couldn’t be more grateful that they did!  

Overall, change happens. Sometimes you have control over the change and sometimes you are at the mercy of that change but, all in all, change is life and it is what makes life exciting.  



Author: Savannah Riese
Email: sriese@mail.bradley.edu
Author Bio: Savannah is a college senior at Bradley University. She enjoys coffee, traveling, organizing her planner, and Pink Floyd. Currently, Savannah is spending her time giving tours to prospective students at Bradley, selling advertisements for The Bradley Scout newspaper, and interning in the Study Abroad Office at BU. She is looking forward to graduating in May and seeing where life takes her!
Link to social media or website: Instagram @savy.sav_


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