The things you want don’t always come easy. You can’t expect the universe to make things work out for you. If you want something you need to go out and make it happen. This requires a proactive attitude and the guts to take some risks along the way. You might stumble across some roadblocks along the way, but as long as you don’t give up you will eventually find a way around it.
Back in 2010 I was in my final year of high-school. I had set the goal to go study abroad afterwards. For over a year I had been planning it. Since the career adviser at school told me to just apply to a Dutch university I had to do it myself. After some research I found a study program that interested me in Sweden. I applied as early as possible and even arranged my accommodation. At the start of July I only needed to do one last thing to finish up the application; send in my high-school diploma. This shouldn’t have been a problem. However, due to the graduation ceremony having been postponed and the school having strict bureaucratic rules stating I could not get my diploma before then, I ended up being two days late.
Up to that point it was all up to me, I did the preparation as I should and did what I could to make it happen. Then because of something out of my control the whole thing ended up a failure. I got an email from the school in Sweden stating that I was too late and should try again a year later.
At this point I could have just given up and gone to a university back in The Netherlands or wait a year. However, studying abroad has been on my bucket list for years by that point. So instead I went on the internet and started looking for alternatives. About a day later I found a business program in Finland which had an application date for which I was still in time. I applied immediately and started looking for flights and arranging accommodation. At arrival I would still have to do an entrance exam but I decided that I just had to pass it. About six weeks after I got the email from Sweden I was living in Finland waiting for the entrance exam, which I passed. The goal had not changed, to study business full time abroad, just the way to get there.
When trying to get into the school in Sweden failed it was a lost battle, but the war wasn’t over yet. I could have been mad about the year of preparation that had been in vain and at my high-school for not giving my diploma in time. And I was of course, but I soon realized it wasn’t helping me so I took a deep breath and started working out a way to still achieve my goal. I could have given up, thinking it was just not meant to be. If I had done that I would not have been writing this now in Finland after completing my first 3 years of study there.