Here’s to Being Thankful My Plan A Sucked.

My last blog post on here, wow. I can’t believe it’s over.

Alright, here we go-

I didn’t plan on going to UNCW; it just wasn’t my ‘Plan A’.

I didn’t plan on anything happening the way it did. But you know, life is funny like that.

My whole life, I had always lived by the beach. But my freshmen year of college at ECU made me feel completely landlocked, lost, and not at all satisfied with tailgates and purple/gold color coordination. The pirate’s life was in fact not for me. I was miserable, and sooo not into skipping class for football.

I didn’t have a Plan B, so I just went for it, and followed my way back to the coast and transferred.

I never really found my fit in the land of purple and gold. But when I came to UNCW, it felt like home. And the funniest thing about it? I’m here because my ‘Plan A’ failed miserably. I fell in love with my school, my major, and my new found home. And I was completely okay with skipping class for the beach.

I’ve taken in all that I can from the journey that has been the past 3 years. And I learned so much. I learned what a COM major at UNCW should learn, but I also learned 2 crucial life lessons from my college experience:

  1. Your plans will potentially suck and fail.
  2. Your failed plans will bring you to exactly where you need to be.

So here I am, right where I need to be, forever thankful that my ‘Plan A’ sucked.

UNCW will be my alma mater, and Wilmington will continue to be the place I call home. My personal and academic life plans failed for the better, and it all worked out just fine. I wish I could hug the whole university and all its’ students, faculty, and buildings because I will truly miss the Dub Life.

I hope those of you reading this take your time at UNCW and in Wilmington. It’s a beautiful little place in a wonderful city. I hope you don’t get discouraged when your plans fail you. Actually, you should plan for all of your plans to fail, even the most secure ones. And if your plan fails? Just ride the wave of it until you reach the shore you’re destined to land at.

It’ll be a hell of a ride, I promise.

Kayla Millie ’17



49 thoughts on “Here’s to Being Thankful My Plan A Sucked.

  1. My journey to UNCW was a lot different then yours. Since I was in high school, I’ve always wanted to go UNCW. This has been my dream school, and I was happy when I got accepted. So far my experience here has been the best and I wouldn’t want any other way.

  2. Like you, my Plan A wasn’t UNCW. It wasn’t even my Plan B. In fact, it wasn’t on the board at all for universities I wanted to go to while I was choosing the path for my future. I don’t like the beach, and would choose a day camping in the mountains over a beach hangout any day. However, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that this isn’t where I should be. I originally wanted to go to a university in Virginia where a lot of my high school friends ended up going to, but the cost of attendance drove me away. My Plan B was all the way in Oklahoma, but the situation surrounding that choice deteriorated really quick. Finally, I gave up on my plans to go far away, and after visiting universities in big cities I was sad about how congested they felt. It wasn’t until I visited UNCW that I discovered how comfortably open and beautiful the campus was. I obviously made my decision to attend, and I haven’t looked back since. Sure, I may have lost all my friends and still don’t have any here, but it feels like home.

  3. Kayla, it was so nice to read this. I am also a transfer student who has completely become alive again after spending my first 2 semesters here at the Dub. I have never felt so at home here, however, I do not regret the choices I made before that led me to the University of Virginia. Had I not made those decisions before, I might not have ended up here when I did – which was perfect timing in my life. I am becoming the best version of myself by being here at UNCW, in Wilmington, as a COM major! BEST OF LUCK IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS!

  4. This is an awesome story! My plans have failed me before, and I have always asked why, but it looks like you have the perfect answer: maybe the life you want to make is not for you. Maybe there is something better out there that will produce better fruits. My plans for college went somewhat the same way. I have always wanted to go to NC State, and I got in, but felt a strong calling here at Wilmington. Since then, I have not regretted coming here, finding a great sense of community, a strong major choice, and like you said, the willingness to skip class, just to go to the beach haha.

  5. Kayla,

    I can somewhat relate to what you went through. I just transferred to UNCW this semester and will be transferring to UNC Chapel Hill in the fall. Although I love UNCW and the COM department, I’ve found UNC to be a better fit for my education a career goal. I agree that it is never too late to change course and go in a different direction. In my IMC class I had to select 3 songs that would be the soundtrack of my brand. One of the songs I selected was, Dare You to Move by Switch Foot. . This song talks about when you fall, you can always pick yourself up and start over again. It’s never too late to move. Below are a few of many powerful lyrics in this song.

    “I dare you to move, I dare you to move
    I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
    I dare you to move, I dare you to move
    Like today never happened
    Today never happened before”…..

    – Switch Foot

  6. Thank you for sharing your journey and opening my eyes to the beauty of failed plans. I really benefited from reading this because most of the time my plans fail and sometimes those are really difficult to deal with. Although at the moment it really sucks in the end it all seems to work out for the best. I am halfway through my time at UNCW and can’t wait to take in every moment of it and cherish everything that I have learned from both the professors and the students here. Congrats on graduation and good luck on whatever it is that you do in the future!

  7. Anyone that goes through life with only one plan is probably the most boring person in the world. How could someone only do the things they planned on doing? That would mean that you never learned any new ideas and were always complacent with the path you were on. Sometimes people need to switch gears and figure themselves out. It’s good to make plans, but i agree that you don’t always have to follow through. I wouldn’t look at it as a failed plan, but perhaps an altered plan. Change is good because the world is always changing. Sometimes it’s nice to just go with the flow and sometimes it’s better not to. Don’t be held up by the details. Just have fun and live life.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this because UNCW wasn’t my “plan A” either, but i could not be more pleased with how it turned out. My initial plan was to go to Auburn, but when it came down to everything I ended up at Wilmington and the fit has been more than perfect. I love it here, living at the beach, and the education I am receiving. I think it is important for people to hear that just because you had a plan it failed, or changed, does not mean you won’t get where you were meant to be, so thank you for expressing that.

  9. I completely believe in fate and that is exactly what happened to you. Sometimes in the moment when you are failing at something you aren’t able to look towards the future and think “maybe things will work out” and usually they do. I recently didn’t get an internship I really wanted and it is forcing me to stay in Wilmington this summer so I am thinking something will happen this summer that will make sense why I didn’t get that internship.

  10. I understand exactly what you mean by your plan A failing. UNCW was not my first choice but it is where life took me. It was an odd adjustment but it felt right once I got down here and it sounds as if you had the same feelings. I hope life after college brings you the same joy UNCW has brought us both.

  11. This post was uplifting because UNCW was not my number one choice of schools. I semi-reluctantly wanted to come here and the only thing that sold me was the fact that if I didn’t love the school, the beach would be right there. But as I sat in my UNI class and my UNI professor started talking about Communication, I started liking the school better and the major. Now I love what I’m studying and love UNCW

  12. So interesting to read this when UNCW wasn’t my ‘Plan A’ either but here I am now so thankful that it didn’t work out as well

  13. I love this! I am a huge believer in the best things are the unplanned ones. My sophomore year of college I really wanted to transfer because I was just not liking it here, I finally talked myself into getting more involved on campus and I am so glad I did.

  14. I have never related more to a blog post. This was extremely reassuring. I have come to the point where I hardly plan anymore because I am letting God take the wheel. My plans never seem to work out and cause me to stress more than I should have to. My plans never fail when I give them over to God. This was a awesome post!

  15. I loved this post! It was very inspiring and promising for me personally, because I am currently in between plans, and starting to come back to feeling like everything happens for a reason!

  16. I think that this is an awesome perspective, especially this time of year. It’s so engrained into us, as students, that the goal is strictly success. Whichever way you choose to reach success, failing is not an option. But failing is what can bring about the best successes, as you’ve found with your transfer to UNCW. I think that to focus on what you have learned from failing can sometimes be more beneficial than what you learn from your successes. It’s about not giving up when encountering these failures, and pushing through. These are the years in life where failing can only help, while it may hurt a little, it’s going to be a learning experience. Because that’s why we are here after all, to learn. This is such a helpful post to those who are struggling with the stresses of finals and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I think that switching one’s view of failure from negative to positive is one of the most helpful things a college student, or anyone, can do.

  17. UNCW wasn’t my plan A either and like you it ended up being the best plan B ever. I love how you worded this and it explains exactly how it feels finally find where you belong. It is impossible to plan life because life throws way too many curve balls but it is possible to ride the waves happily.

  18. Same here. Only, I’m not really even sure what my plan A was, this is certainly not it. In the end though, I’m happy that I stayed in my hometown and went to UNCW. I finally am enjoying my major and I’m on track to graduate. It’s a good feeling. I think we have all felt this way at some point whether we are in college or not.

  19. I really loved this post. I relate to this soo much because I too went to ECU for a little and really felt lost when I was there. Sometimes, what you think is a bad situation ends up being the best decision. Good luck with everything!

  20. I actually loved this post so much! I appreciated your complete and utter honesty when talking about how your original plans don’t always work out. As a sophomore, it’s nice to hear an older student’s perspective and get a personal account about finding a home at UNCW and being sad to leave. Luckily, I started here as a freshmen and fell in love right away, but there’s something so special about hearing how you didn’t find this place at first. I truly believe fate brought you to Wilmington and I hope you will continue to hold on to the memory of this place! Good luck to you as you enter the real world!

  21. Kayla, I’m stoked that you’re stoked. Sometimes it is hard to accept failed plans. You want to be able to control what happens with most things in life, but sometimes it simply doesn’t happen that way. Luckily, we can separate life plans from life goals. While your plan to get a degree from ECU may have failed, you will still achieve your goal of earning a degree from here at UNCW.

  22. I am currently in the midst of a failed ‘Plan A’ and like you said: THAT’S OKAY! I came to UNCW thinking it was the place for me, turns out that’s not the case. I am however really excited about the next adventure I am about to embark on. You’re post was really timely and encouraging! Happy to hear your ‘Plan A’ failed for the best. Congrats on making it!

  23. Glad I came across your post, it was really inspirational (especially right now at the start of the last week of classes). I’m also a transfer student so I can completely relate to your failed plan A, but in the end I ended up here and couldn’t be happier. The two life lessons you highlight in your post are both so important and necessary for college students to remember because 9 times out of 10 your plans will change sometime during your college career and that’s ok. Best post I’ve read on this website all semester!

  24. This post is extremely relatable to me in the the most similar way possible. I too almost ended up at another school, in my case it was the University of South Carolina. I was going not because I loved the school more than all the others, but instead because I wanted to be near my girlfriend at the time. I cannot say enough how huge of a mistake that would have been. I would have been paying out of state tuition and trying to make friends in a place where I knew nobody within 6 months of living there. Me and that girl never would have lasted, and I never would have met the amazing friends that I have here at the dub.

  25. I love how you shared your story. Unlike you UNCW was my first choice. Almost everyone I’ve talked to who has transferred into UNCW from another institution has had similar feelings. I agree with what you said about failed plans brining you exactly where to be. Sometimes in my life I’ve felt so sure about things but then been let down to only find in failure something amazing.

  26. “Anything worth having doesn’t come easy” this comment was told to me by my grandfather at a young age. My journey to UNCW was a tuff road. In high school I didn’t see the vision of how important my younger years actually were. I didn’t try hard or focus on school towards my senior year and I hit rock bottom when my friends were going to universities and I was going to community college. I eventually worked hard and got accepted into UNCW and it has been a great road and I hope to finish strong. I have debated between 3 professions since I was accepted into UNCW so I feel the pain of not knowing what your next step should be. This post was very inspiring and a great reminder that everything happens for a reason!

  27. Very nice post and very true, I didn’t realize how often my carefully calculated plans would fail and that’s okay! I ended up in a place where I need to be and I’m really glad it worked out for you too.

  28. Kayla,

    My Plan A did not work out, either. I wanted to go to UNC Chapel Hill, but I didn’t get in.

    Looking back on it now, I’m glad I didn’t get in. UNCW has been so much better for me than I believe UNC ever would have been — the opportunities I have been afforded and the people I have met have made me such a happier person than I was before. I am so glad UNCW worked out for you and I feel the two of us have walked the same paths to a great extent.

    – Noah

  29. This was a great post, I didn’t have the same journey that you experience because I knew from the beginning UNCW was where I wanted to go. When I came to Wilmington my freshman year of High school to visit my sister I knew that I had to go to school here. I have been happy with my decision so far, just interested to see whether I decide to move after college or stay here.

  30. I loved this post as well! Wow, I completely have to agree with you and say that UNCW wasn’t my plan A either. I had dreamed for so long to go to College of Charleston when I was younger. But when I didn’t receive enough scholarship money, I had to look elsewhere, and elsewhere lead me to UNCW. My journey through college has been nothing short of amazing. The Communication Major that is offered here has transformed the way that I think about life, and the people that I have met during my time here have impacted my college years more than I could ever describe. I think sometimes the best things are unexpected and that is what makes life so beautiful.

  31. This was a great post! I definitely know what you mean when you say not everything goes according to plan. As a kid, I always wanted to go to to UNCW and wanted to experience all 4 years here in Wilmington. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. I ending up transferring here from a community college in my hometown and after one year, I was finally here. I know now that things might not go according to plan, but everything happens for a reason.

  32. This post made me feel a lot better about how things have been going recently! I love that your attitude stayed positive throughout the blog even in light of a failure.

  33. I really enjoyed reading your post! It relates to my story too.
    My older brother went to UNC Chapel Hill, so that is where I had always planned on going. Senior year of high school came and went and after applying, I did not get into UNC. Initially I was devastated, but luckily I did have a plan B. I had applied to UNCW and got in. I wasn’t excited, and didn’t know how I would like it here, but after three years I have grown to love everything about UNCW and Wilmington. I think about what my life would be like if I had gone to UNC and it makes me very happy to know that I am here and not there!

  34. ‘Plan A’s’ are overrated. No one has life figured out so we all are going through plans A-Z until something sticks. UNCW was not my ‘Plan A’ either. When you don’t end up in your planned place, you think your life is over. I was over-dramatic and thought mine was. Looking back on it now, I realize that life falls into place when you least expect it. I don’t think there is any logic to that and writing it out even seems silly, but I have found it to be true. It’s always a good thing to have options, but when you stop planning out every single thing in your life, the most incredible things can happen. It’s okay to paint outside the lines because you may end up with a masterpiece when you were least expecting it.

  35. As a rising junior this blog post was exactly what I needed to see. Although I have enjoyed my time here thus far I still find myself wondering if this is the right university for me. It scares me to think that there could be another university out there that would be a better fit for me. This blog gives me reassurance that things will be fine I just have to take advantage of the opportunities presented to me and live life. Thank you for this post and I wish you the best of luck in not only your career but in life as well.

  36. I absolutely love this post. Im in the same exact boat, and it kind of makes me grateful that I’m not the only one experiencing a sucky plan A. I guess I consider myself to be a control freak to some aspect, I feel like I have to have my life together at all times. I hated Wilmington at one point, and was a business major before I switched to COM. After I switched my major everything fell into place. I figured out my passion, where I want to take my career. I think God has a way for picking which plan is going to work for everyone whether plan A fails or plan H fails, everyone eventually will end up succeeding in their own plan.

  37. YESS! Im right there with you! My plan A was to go to Johnson and Wales University in uptown charlotte and become a pastry chef. Well i went to JWU for two years and got my associates, but it was not all what i had hoped it would be. So clearly that didn’t work out. Now I have found myself here in little wilmington, going to a university at the beach. I mean how much more laid-back can you get!? I am very grateful my plan A did not work out because i truly have enjoyed my time here in Wilmington at UNCW becoming a COM major!

  38. UNCW was not my first choice either, I played D1 lacrosse my freshman year and ended up getting my sixth concussion. After I was told I could not play, I visited a friend that transferred here after his freshman year and loved it. Instantly I fell in love, I knew I wanted to transfer here as soon as I could. I ended up transferring here my sophomore year and couldn’t be happier. I love going to school here and am thankful everything worked out.

  39. I can totally relate. Much as everyone else who has commented, I can tell you my plans really have failed and I needed to read this article to get back up on my feet. I am at a crossroads with school and seeing a plan I had for a major crumble, but I know it happened for a reason, and there is a reason why its happening. This gave me just the boost I needed, love the article. Whoever thought life was a simple path and a straight line to the finish, was absolutely wrong!

  40. I really like the idea of this post. As a rising senior I hear all the time that you shouldn’t be discouraged when you head out into the real world and things don’t go as you plan. Trying to decide on a college was probably the most stressful thing I’ve had to do so far in my life. Counselors, teachers, and parents all make it seem like you need to have a set plan for your life when, in reality no one at that age knows what they are doing with their life.

  41. Thanks for sharing your story. I too am not a fan for ECU, however my reasons are probably more irrational. UNCW wasn’t necessarily my Plan A either. I never grew up by the beach, but I had been numerous times and always loved it. I grew up in the triangle area, then went to a community college in Boone. I was going to transfer to ASU but I felt out of place up there as you felt out of place at ECU. I’m glad we were both able to find our place here at UNCW, and I hope you are able to use your experiences here to help better yourself for the real world once you graduate, good luck with everything!

  42. UNCW was not my first choice either. In fact, I randomly applied here solely for the beach. After being declined from my dream school, I started exploring my options which brought me down here for a visit. I fell in love! I knew this was my for me and I’m thankful I was declined from the other school. My plan failed again when I had to change my major. I am grateful I did because I have a feeling I will be more successful in life with a COM degree instead of my original plan. I am able to adjust easily when things don’t go my way and luckily, most things have worked out for the better.

  43. Hello Kayla,

    I can completely relate to this post! My perspective has changed a lot since I graduated from high school when I was a student who originally wanted to go to UNC and study journalism. Though they have a great school for journalism and mass media, I would not have had the opportunities I have had at UNCW. I have been able to be the Editor in Chief of our school newspaper, publish a book of profiles on people from a nearby community called Navassa and work with COM and English professors to hopefully revamp to journalism minor.

    I may not have had those opportunities at UNC, so my plan B ended up benefiting me in ways I could not have expected.

  44. My “Plan A” also didn’t work out. I was dead set on being an Exercise Science major and going into Physical Therapy when I first started at UNCW. I very quickly learned that biology and science are not for me. Switching my major to communication is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made

  45. I really love everything about this post, I hate when I don’t have a plan and I hate feeling lost and unsure of the future but I’ve learned God laughs when you make plans and I not find comfort in the unknown. As the year is coming to an end I’m feeling ever more grateful of being a COM major and being apart of the COM department at UNCW, I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I’m excited about whatever it may be.

  46. You are very lucky indeed. UNCW is a great school and you have benefited from the opportunity to transfer to this school I believe. I also transferred from ECU. The pirates life was also not for me… and I couldn’t be happier. Best of luck with your future endeavors.

  47. That is so lovely and reassuring to hear! I am also very glad I chose this school as well. I moved here from New York about two and a half year ago and have loved it ever since. Definitely one of the best choices I’ve ever made was going to UNCW.

  48. i agree that you always have to be flexible with your life plans because you don’t know how your college career is going to work out. I didn’t even have close to grades to get into UNCW coming out of high school. I decide to play collegiate sports for two years at a small school and didn’t like it so I transfered to Wilmington. This place has been a great option and has worked out in my life plans perfectly.

  49. I can agree and say I am thankful my plan A didn’t work out either. I am a transfer from the University of Alabama, and while Alabama was fun, I wasn’t learning and i was losing track of who i truly was. If I wouldn’t have found my way to UNCW I don’t know who or what kind of person i would be!

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