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TreesNEW

The Opportunity Cost

by karina winkelman – kansas city fellow 2016-17

Time for Honesty Hour…

There are parts of Kansas City I don’t like.

Well, more like, there are things missing that I wish were here. Lakes and woods, mostly.

I grew up in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and went to college in Michigan, the Great Lake State. Lakes and all of the activities that go along with them have played a role in my life, a role I didn’t even realize until they were gone. Lake life is an opportunity for some of the things I value most- fun, growing relationships, enjoying God’s creation.

Trees are my favorite aspect of nature. I love standing in the middle of the woods, looking up at the sky through the trees and feeling small. One of my summers home from college, back in Minnesota, I went to a new park every week and walked through the woods- a new opportunity to feel small.

Kansas City and the surrounding area doesn’t have many lakes or woods. There are nice parks and I love to be outside playing frisbee or sitting on a blanket and reading. But the lakes and woods of Kansas City are few and far between and not nearly as proximate as I was accustomed to in Minnesota and Michigan.

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What does this have to do with you, a potential Kansas City Fellow?

Well, this is expectation management.

Moving to a new city, starting from scratch, leaving the past behind (or if you’re from this area, starting a new job and living in a new place with new people) is a little bit sexy, a little bit empowering. It kind of feels like a plot line for a movie.

My Honesty Hour is to show you that transitions aren’t seamless, change is hard. But just because there aren’t lakes and woods down the road doesn’t mean I’d choose a different path after graduation if given the opportunity. Because every decision has an opportunity cost.

In my decision to move to Kansas City, I lost out on the lakes and the woods. Your loss will likely be something different – it could be the loss of living in that other city you’ve always dreamed of, or the loss of proximity to your family, or the loss of your favorite coffee shop. Whatever it is, you will have a loss. Because every decision has an opportunity cost.

The beautiful thing about opportunity cost is that, even within a loss, you gain something. And, for now, I’ll take the gains of a wonderful job, a supportive church family, Christ-centered friendships, wise mentorship, a new city to explore, warmer winters (and so much more) over the loss of lakes and woods.

So, as you make your decision about life after college, think in terms of opportunity cost. Your losses may not be so great compared to your gains.

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