When my brother- and sister-in-law were expecting their first child, people kept telling them, “you have no idea how your life is going to change once this baby is born.” After several months of hearing this unsolicited advice, my brother-in-law wisely began to respond, “I hope so. If we have the baby and nothing changes, I’ll be disappointed.”
That story, and the fact that today is commencement for this year’s class of MIT Sloan Fellows, has got me thinking. Next year at this time, how will I be different? Like my brother-in-law, I’ll be disappointed if I earn the degree and engage in the experience, and I don’t change at all.
The question is, how will I change? What’ll be different about how I think, about how I problem-solve, about how I approach my life and the world?
I’m feeling homesick for New York City today, so I’m wondering how I’m going to feel about Boston after a year. I’m also wondering about what I’ll be thinking about the fields of teaching, learning, education, schools, and higher education, to name a few.
Someone who spoke to our group yesterday said that this year is a gift. I agree. It’s an amazing gift we’re giving to ourselves. We’ve uprooted our lives, put our trust in an experience we’ll both participate in and create, and we’ve put previously-crafted identities on hold for a year or longer.
One year from today, when I graduate from the program, how will I be different? Equally important, how will I have allowed myself to be open to all the experiences I have the opportunity to participate in this year? What choices will I make? How open can I allow my mind to be?
Here’s to a fearless year!