By: Emma Ross
Sri Lanka is an island nation off the coast of India, and used to occasionally be referred to as “Serendip”. A Persian fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip”, inspired this nickname. In the tale, the princes go on many adventures and always miraculously find their way to a happy and fortuitous ending. This pattern was coined “serendipity” by author Horace Walpole, and is now defined as an object or event that happens by luck rather than through intentional means.
Life is made up of a mix of intentionality and serendipity. We make decisions every day without knowing where they will bring us or, sometimes, who. This blend creates the color in life: the surprises that make us happiest. The serendipitous moments have brought us to where we are—where I am.
I chose to go to Guilford College. I chose to take the classes I have. But I made these choices blinded to the fact that I would meet the people I have. I had no idea the passions that would grab me in my first two years. I would never have guessed that I would stumble upon the study abroad program of a lifetime that would allow me to realize what I wanted to study. It was a hard decision, but the serendipitous results of this happened as naturally as rain falling from the sky.
The beauty of serendipity is its simplicity: you decide to take a longer ride home to avoid the rush hour traffic, and this ride brings you past the grand opening of a new bookstore. So you stop in, and walk over to a colorful book that catches your eye. You crack the spine to see the last word, like you do every book. And the last word is “serendipity.”
Then you do a Google search of the word. And then you find this.
And that, my friend, is serendipity.