Week Forty-two: Amanda Kasper


Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?

“Life is too ironic to fully understand.

It takes sadness to know what happiness is.

Noise to appreciate silence.

And absence to value presence.”


This is perhaps the first prompt in a long while that I have not hesitated about. In fact, I knew my answer several weeks ago, before I ever began writing it.

In the spring of 2011, I interviewed for my top graduate school program, at my top choice school. I knew the odds were against me – it was the most competitive program in the US, each school accepting 4-12 students a year, max. I was waitlisted, and when all was said and done, I was just two seats away from being a part of their incoming class.

This was quite a blow for me. It was the biggest dream I’ve worked towards in quite some time. When I gathered my thoughts, and discussed my options with family and friends, I accepted the spot I had been given in a different graduate program, at a different school. One I was entirely unsure of, for way more reasons than just one.

To make a very long story much shorter, my health changed drastically, and required me to move back home again. In doing so, I transferred into a program I had never applied for, but back again at my top choice school. For five consecutive quarters, I have worked my behind off, learning and applying knowledge and advancing my qualifications to enter the job world. In 64 days, I’ll cross the stage during Northwestern University’s 150th Annual Commencement Ceremony, accepting my Masters of Public Health Certificate.

I believe greatly that I had to go, to come back. I had to move away, I had to get sick, for me to come back, and end up where I am, which is exactly where I was supposed to be. These days I’ve been working on finding silver linings; this was one of the first ones I found.


Amanda Kasper is a writer, reader, quote lover, CASA advocate, and non-profit believer, seeking space as a lifelong learner, passionate lover, and irreplaceable friend. Amanda tweets at @AKasper513 and blogs over at “& this I believe”


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