UCC International Pre-Departure Blog Series: “I’m Your Density. I Mean, Your Destiny.” – George McFly (“Back to the Future”)



I want to talk about chance.

For those expecting humor, don’t be disappointed. My own voice contains smatterings of the stuff, but this post’s main goal isn’t to make you laugh. It’s to make you think – hopefully.

I’m lying in bed, pondering – which is simply a fancy word for thinking “deep” thoughts, profound thoughts that have never, ever been conjured up before… *rolls eyes*

I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to write.

The multiverse theory is essentially the idea that there exits infinite parallel universes. Within the bounds of this theory – as I have gathered from my regrettably limited understanding of it – there are thus infinite possibilities for each of us.

In each universe, our life takes a completely different path, which has been altered by one or more slightly different events. The butterfly effect, you see?

In one universe, my father continued his job at Halliburton and I grew up in London.

In another, I decided on my first choice university – Northeastern in Boston – and am now studying International Business and German instead of Computer Science and Italian.

In yet another, perhaps my mother decided not to go to that barn dance after all and didn’t meet my father and subsequently, I don’t exist at all.

It becomes quite overwhelming to imagine all the possibilities. You don’t even need the multiverse theory for the idea of the butterfly effect to blow your mind and, quite possibly, send you into a deep, dark depression.

I don’t think I believe in fate, but I do believe in random chance. And I think that the combination of chance and choice can send our lives in totally different directions, perhaps even the opposite of what we expected.

If you had explained my future to 2014 Elena, I would have laughed at you. And yet, here I stand. (Or lie. In my bed.)

Prediction, a lot of the time, is useless. You cannot control the future – much of it is out of your hands, and trying to play at being a carnival fortuneteller will do you no good.

All you can do is take every opportunity life throws at you and make the fullest of it, seeing how far you can take yourself in the direction that is best for you. Live your life with no regrets, because you cannot change the past, only guide your future to the best of your ability.

With all of this in mind, I thought I would talk about my future.

For years, I thought I might study abroad in Spain or England or Germany. But fate or chance or what have you has brought me to Ireland. I couldn’t have predicted it – it wasn’t even on my radar six months ago. And yet, here I stand.

And I already feel at home! Chance brought me to Twitter, an app I rarely use. Through Twitter, chance led me to Colm, my lovely new Irish friend, and Caela, the wonderful U.S. Representative for UCC. Colm has recruited me to help with his radio show – Sharp – next year, and Caela offered me the amazing opportunity to become a student ambassador and write down all my thoughts to share with you amazing readers out there. All this and I haven’t even stepped foot in Cork – EVER!

I have no idea what particularly special combination of events brought me to this moment in my life, but I am grateful to chance, or fate, or my own decisions.

I have been led to this moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



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