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I used to refer to myself as the most unlucky person alive. I didn’t mean to sound overly negative. Believe me, I love my life, but it always seems that the most unlucky things happen to me. My flights always seem to get canceled, and plans always seem to fall through at the last minute. Two weeks will go by with nothing important, but then three important items will all fall at the same time. My roommate Emma and I got the absolute last room pick in our dorm, not to mention the fact that there was dried vomit on the ground of our room when we arrived for move in (it was disgusting). I got the worst class registration time, and things like this just always seem to happen. 

I always refer to one specific instance of particular unluckiness in my life that I believe perfectly epitomizes my unluckiness as a person. This situation is what I refer to as the purple folder incident. In the second grade, everyone in my Spanish class was required to buy a purple folder. I bought a decent purple folder, which I assumed would be mine. I was wrong. Instead, my Spanish teacher collected the folders, wrote on them, and then randomly redistributed them to the class. I was given a purple folder with vertical pockets. What kind of folder has vertical pockets?!? It was extremely inconvenient, and it bothered me all year, especially because I was the only kid in the class with vertical pockets (yes, I checked). I know this is an extremely dumb example, but I believe the purple folder incident is when I truly realized the true level of unluckiness that I possessed. 

I have complained about my lack of luck since the incident, but my dad said something to me over quarantine that has changed my perspective. While complaining about my low room pick situation, my dad said, “Sara, if getting the lowest room pick is the worst thing that has happened to you, your life is pretty good.” While the low room pick is certainly not the worst thing to ever happen to me, this statement did give me some perspective. I have always been thankful for everything I have, but this conversation really made me want to focus on the ways I am lucky, rather than on the ways I am unlucky. I decided to start trying to put an emphasis on all the things in my life that I was grateful for. 

With plenty of time in quarantine over the summer to think, I started paying attention to things I was grateful for. Through hours of Facetime calls with my friends from school and socially distant visits with my friends from home, I came to realize that I was the opposite of unlucky in the friend department. I actually hit the jackpot. Through growing relationships with my sisters over quarantine, I realized how lucky I was to have a strong support system. With the announcement that many colleges would not be returning to in-person instruction, I realized that I was lucky to be on campus this semester. Upon arrival on campus, I was overwhelmed with joy to be back at the place I love and I have been savoring every moment. I have come to realize that I actually am extremely lucky, despite the little things.

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 Right now, during the time of the pandemic, it is especially easy to fall into negative thoughts, which is why it is even more important to think about the positives. Thinking of the glass as half empty will only lead to more pessimism. When you change that perspective to a glass half full attitude, you open more opportunities for yourself. No matter how hard things get, I just have to keep remembering the truth: I truly am the luckiest, unlucky girl on the planet.  

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Sara Kirsch

Notre Dame '23

Sara is majoring in Economics at Notre Dame, with a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. She is from ST. Louis originally, but absolutely loves being on campus. In her free time, she loves to run and spend time with her friends, her three younger sisters, and her dog, Oreo.
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