What’s Around the River Bend?


By: Desiree Montilla, Beta Class

I remember when my parents gave me the movie, “Pocahontas”, for my 8th birthday. I remember falling in love with the movie because of the characters, the love story between Pocahontas and John Smith, and of course the songs. Aside from these reasons, I mainly fell in love with the message. It showed a different side to the typical Disney princess plotline. It portrayed the journey of Pocahontas becoming a strong, independent person to decide her path through life. Most importantly, it shows Pocahontas navigating herself through life’s changing path without knowing what to expect just around the river bend. At 8 years old, I never realized how relevant this would be in my own life going into college.

When I was a senior in high school, I had a set plan of what my next four years in college would be. I would move away from my home in Orlando, get my bachelor’s degree in communications from USF in Tampa, and find a part time job there in my first. I was determined to stick to my college plan and was excited fulfill every part of my plan

During my first year at USF, I was happy about my decision. I made amazing, lifetime friendships, had great classes and lived a great freshman year. However, there was still a part of me that felt missing. I didn’t feel complete.

At the beginning of the second semester, I knew I had to re-evaluate my goals. I loved my friends, the adventures I had, and the memories I made, but I wasn’t completely happy with my major, the program, and financial situation I was in without a job. I knew I had to make a change, but at the same time I didn’t want to fail my four year plan.

One day before class, I was sitting in Einstein’s Bagels and researching colleges in Florida. In my search, I

stumbled upon UCF’s Radio Television program. Researching more about the program, I knew this would

be a great fit for my future career and what I wanted to accomplish in broadcast journalism. However, I

knew I had to face a tough decision; Do I move back to Orlando and transfer to UCF or do I stick to my previous four-year plan for USF?


It was a tough decision for me to make, but I had to be strong and think about what’s best for my future.

As a person who is afraid of failing others and myself, I felt like I had failed myself by not following my

initial four-year plan. Moving back to Orlando to pursue UCF’s Radio-Television program, I knew I

hadn’t accomplished my plan. The change to UCF was easily one of the toughest for me because I felt

like a failure.


However, I had to think about it in this perspective. What if I didn’t make the decision to come back to

UCF? Would I have been happy if I felt like I was still missing a part of me?


I had to take the chance. I knew the risk would be worth it, no matter how hard the change would be. I

couldn’t consider myself a failure for changing my path in college. I knew there was a reason this was

happening. I had to trust my gut, take the chance of not knowing what to expect, and take a new

journey in my life. In this, I reassured myself I made the right decision for myself and the risk paid off.


In my first semester transferring into UCF, I applied for Radio-Television program and was

accepted. Not only was I accepted into my program, I loved every radio-television class I took, landed

my first job at UCF, and most importantly, felt complete again.


It feels as though everything fell into place. This experience taught me life can take you through

unexpected turns. To say they are over is out of the question, but it’s taught me to go with the flow. I

loved every minute I had in USF and made lifetime relationships I still have to this day, but I knew

change had to happen in order to pursue my future goals.


Looking back at everything, I know why life changed it’s course for me. I was meant for something

bigger, something better. I knew if I stayed, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I don’t regret the

choice of going to USF to begin with. I made amazing friendships that I still cherish to this day and know

that I will continue to in the future. It also showed me how to be a strong, independent person by

moving out of the comfort zone of my hometown in Orlando.


Change is tough to go through, but when life throws you unexpected curveballs, you need to stand with

strength, pride and know change is a part of life.


So, if you’re experiencing unexpected change or a tough decision, always remember:

Everything happens for a reason: I’m a fond believer that we are placed in situations to learn, grow and thrive from the lessons we wouldn’t be able to experience on a daily basis. If you’re overwhelmed with a new change or decision, take a deep breath, relax, and be assured this is going to be something good for your future.

Go with the flow: Just like I didn’t expect this change in my life, you won’t be able to predict the rest of your life. Changes can happen at any time. My advice is to focus on the present, live in the moment, and know you have a purpose in life. Things will happen the way they will as long as you go with the flow.

Do one thing that scares you everyday: There are times we will be pushed out of our comfort zone. Whether it’s moving to a new town, conquering a fear, or trying something new, new opportunities are in our grasp everyday. Will you take the risk for a new opportunity?

Expect the unexpected: Life is unexpected. We can’t always plan every aspect of our life without something changing. It’ll happen to everyone at some point of their life Instead of getting upset, mad or frustrated, embrace the fact that the future is a mystery and the unexpected will lead you to a new path that might be desirable for your future career and path.


Take this advice as something to carry for your journey through life. Life happens and it’s up to us to

decide whether we make it a negative setback or a new opportunity. As Pocahontas would say, you never know what’s waiting for you just around the river bend.



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