Saturday evening I sang as a part of the University of Michigan choirs in the annual Collage Concert. For those of you who do not know what the Collage Concert is, it is a concert which contains performances from all programs within the School of Music, Theatre and Dance which moves seamlessly from one performance to the next without the interruption of applause. As a member of the 200 person choir I was stuck on the risers at the back of the stage for the entire act, and having heard all the performers at the dress rehearsal I allowed my mind to wander and the music to accompany my thoughts.

Standing there, I remembered reading an American Girl article when I was in middle school (yes, I will admit I religiously read those magazines) which said that luck did not exist; rather that luck is being ready when an opportunity presents itself. I remembered making a bucket list when I was in elementary school of all the places I wanted to sing in my life, a list which included Hill Auditorium. I remembered the devastation of being waitlisted for the music school at Michigan and the joy of the phone call which changed everything. I remembered a Friday afternoon in December 2010, where my peers discussed being accepted into the University of Michigan via Early Action but paying special attention to the fact that it was “just Michigan”.

I have never considered myself lucky because I have never considered anything which I have done or accomplished that extraordinary. Getting into Michigan seemed normal because all my friends before me had, landing a good internship as a sophomore seemed common because many of my friends did it as freshmen, singing at Hill felt standard because I had done it multiple times before. Yet, Saturday I felt lucky as I realized how extraordinary the opportunities I have had truly are.

For a type A who never slows down long enough to take a breath, this revelation only occurred because I was physically forced to stand still, not talk, and be “unproductive” for an hour. So my request to you is to do the same. Unplug. Ditch the phone, laptop, tablet, whatever it is that keeps you connected and take a moment to smell the roses, hear the music and realize how incredibly lucky you are to be living your life.

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