How to Make the Most of Plan G
By: Steven Gelman
This semester did not turn out how I planned it—at all.
Here’s how this semester was supposed to go, my Plan A:
I would spend my spring semester abroad in London. It would be my first time traveling abroad, and certainly the furthest I’ve ever been from home. I would live with my current roommate (and fellow COM Ambassador) Nick, and I would intern at a production company or newspaper in London. I’d finally get to have that unforgettable “abroad experience” everyone loves to talk about.
But, as you know, some things got in the way. There was a small (maybe kind of big) global pandemic. My plans were ruined—or so I thought. It turned out that closing some doors actually opened new ones.
When the pandemic hit I immediately began brainstorming new plans. Plan A turned into Plan B, then into Plan C, and so on. (I think now I’m somewhere around Plan G.)
Eventually, I found an open door— a fellowship program working with WBUR, Boston’s NPR affiliate, and one of the country’s best public radio stations. The program is a collaboration between the Department of Journalism and WBUR, and is geared towards students interested in public radio, podcasting, and multimedia journalism (students like me!) COM’s WBUR Fellowship program was one of the opportunities that made me decide to go to BU. You can read more about the program here.
But, being so focused on my Plan A, I had forgotten about the opportunity—I simply didn’t have the time to participate in the fellowship if I went abroad. But after the pandemic hit, and when the fall semester rolled around, I applied for the fellowship, fully confident I’d be rejected and move on to Plan H. But I moved to the next round. And then I moved to the next round. And then before I knew it, I got the fellowship. I finally had my plan, my Plan G.
Of course, Plan G came with its own set of Covid-19 safety precautions; the fellowship was, and still is, remote. I was worried this would lessen the quality of my fellowship experience, but I was very quickly proven wrong. It was amazing to see how effectively the newsroom was able to run remotely. I quickly learned the ropes and got to help produce segments with everyone from Dr. Fauci to Ibram X. Kendi to Boston’s first Black, first female mayor, Kim Janey. We also were able to host weekly “Ask The Docs” segments where listeners call in with their questions related to Covid-19 and vaccines; it has been so rewarding providing this public service to Boston residents at a time when they really need reputable information from medical professionals. This experience has been so rewarding, and I can’t wait to continue it in the summer. And none of it would have been possible if I didn’t lose my Plan A.
So, if I’ve learned anything from this past year, it’s that you shouldn’t worry about your Plan A. Because there’s always a Plan B, Plan C, and so on, until eventually, you find your plan G.