English philosopher Francis Bacon once said, "A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." What Bacon failed to realize is that sometimes simply being aware of opportunities around you is the same thing as making them.
In college I'd heard story after story about the work my friend was doing in a reproductive biology lab until finally I gave in and asked if they needed any extra research help. While my friend's lab was full, being aware of this biology lab allowed me to work in an adjacent lab leading to a publication of a research study with my name on it. Asking and being informed about the opportunities around me led to a circumstance that exposed me to many new experiences and taught me new skills. I also built relationships with professors who eventually wrote letters of recommendation for me. Furthermore, I was given the chance to speak with many prominent people in the medical field that I could add to my personal network. I could never have imagined that I would get so much out of an opportunity I hadn't even considered doing in the past.
This taught me that opportunities are everywhere, some are just less obvious than others. While it is good to participate in extracurriculars that your schools offers, expanding your awareness of clubs, sports, and volunteer organizations to participate in around you will offer you more chances to learn something new or get more involved in an area you're already interested in. A google search and awareness of the businesses and organizations around you can help you find more opportunities, but it's also good to talk to your friends with similar interests and learn more about what they are involved in.
It is important to pat yourself on the back for your achievements and congratulate your friends, it is equally important for you and your friends to discover new opportunities from each other. A wise man might believe in making his own opportunities, but an even wiser man would understand that being open to and aware of the opportunities that already exist around you opens you up to a world of possibilities.
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