It was just another day in my social psychology class with Dr. Valenti during the fall 2016 semester. Her lectures are always interactive and extremely interesting, and today was no different. We started class by listening to Drew Dudley’s Ted Talk on “lollipop moments.”
Instead of taking notes, she asked us to listen to his words and think of our own lollipop moments in our life. According to Dudley, a lollipop moment is when someone says or does something that fundamentally makes your life better. This could range from having a conversation with a stranger that ultimately leads to a new job opportunity to someone saying the exact words you need to hear in a dark time in your life. Sometimes the most improbable of circumstances seem so inevitable in retrospect thanks to lollipop moments.
“Can you think of a lollipop moment in your life?”
As my classmates began pondering and reflecting, my hand immediately shot up. This phenomena, a lollipop moment, explained why I was sitting in Phoenix, on the morning of Dr. Valenti’s lecture.
You see, my goal after high school was to gain admission into the US Naval Academy. After going to a semester-long prep school, I finished my freshman year at Biola University. Unfortunately, the USNA plans fell through. I was able to afford one more year at Biola, but I knew I would be graduating from somewhere else. I just didn’t know where.
On Christmas Eve 2014, I had my lollipop moment.
One of my more distant relatives approached me and asked about where I was looking to go to school. Before I could get a word off, she began telling me about Grand Canyon University. She told me how she and her family had kept hearing about it on the radio, and it seemed like a beautiful campus and extremely affordable.
This wasn’t the first time someone suggested a college to me. It also wasn’t the first time someone gave me their input on what I should do with my remaining two years of college. But this conversation was different.
Just two months later, I had my fall schedule laid out for me by my university counselor and was touring campus.
I have been to a Naval Academy Prep School, Biola University and I even did a stint with the Army ROTC unit at Cal State Fullerton. I will be the first in my family to earn a college degree, and I will be the first person ever on my dad’s side of the family to graduate from college.
So as I sit back and think of the friends and memories that I have made at GCU, I can’t help but think back to the conversation I had on Christmas Eve two years ago.
One conversation led me to Phoenix. My lollipop moment made me a Lope for life.
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