Just over a year ago I was online, updating my resume on the Student Conservation Association’s website. I had applied for positions previously, but for one reason or another had never received an interview and landed an internship. Nonetheless, I found it somewhere in me to update my resume and re-rank myself on various skills. After doing so I went to see what current internships were available. Reading briefly about the Centennial Volunteer Ambassador (CVA) position, I clicked ‘Apply,’ just like I did with a few other positions. And that was it. I didn’t think any more about it, expecting little to come of it all.

A week later I receive an email regarding the Centennial Volunteer Ambassador program, stating that they wanted to set up an interview. We agreed on a date, February 4th. Long story short, the interview went well and at the end I was offered the position. After some brief thinking, I accepted. And that, my friends, was just the start of my CVA journey, one year ago today.

The journey from a year ago to today has most certainly had different phases. First there’s the personal transition. No longer in college. New city. New home. New places to explore. New social life. Then there is the professional transition. New job. New co-workers. New expectations. There’s the learning curve to master, the new lingo to pick up on, and that one thing everyone’s talking about that leaves you clueless. Then you get in the groove. The job gets better. You are given responsibility for projects. You are presented with the opportunity to be a part of something cool. Things develop. Experiences are made. Goals are accomplished. And so much changes from how you originally thought things would go–and that’s ok.

Looking back, I could never have imagined what my “today” would look like. When I got the job I had only the most vague of senses of what this program could look like. It’s truly amazing to look at all the things that can happen in one year’s time. My expectations of what the program is or will be. My professional network. My personal friendships. My skills and work experience. My ability to participate in amazing opportunities.

I challenge you to think about all that has changed in your life over the past year. These changes are what have shaped our current reality. I find it both intriguing and humbling to look back at how I thought things would be compared to where I find myself now. And every time I do, it makes me all that much more excited for what’s to come.