College is all about having once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Being a college student means that more options are available to you to try amazing things and fulfill some of the things you’ve hoped and dreamed about for years. It takes a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, but you’ll get to make some of your own dreams come true.

When I was making the decision to pursue arts administration as my area of graduate study, certain events were obvious to me as things that would be important to do to be able to say that I’d finally “made it” in the field.

This list, populated by my sometimes overactive imagination, included a variety of classy, invite-only events attended by the theatre elite. All I ever wanted was to be on the list for one of these black tie evenings, but the nights that would mean the most to me would be attending the Tony Awards in New York City and the Olivier Awards in London, England. These two nights celebrate the best in new plays and musicals on both sides of the pond and feature performances and appearances by actors, producers and major figures in the theater industry.

I figured that attending these events, in particular the award shows, would have to wait until my big break or until I moved to one of those cities. However, I got the surprise of a lifetime when a friend texted me about winning a contest to go to the Olivier Awards in London. All expenses were covered, including tickets to see a show in the West End, London’s theater district. How could I say no?

Though at the time of writing this I haven’t yet left on the trip, I’m quite certain it’s going to be an amazing weekend. Who knows what could happen or whom we could meet at the awards! Being back in London is so exciting—it’s an amazing place, a city that manages to be old and new at the same time. I visited London briefly during my semester abroad and it’s a city that I would like to explore more in the future—I could maybe even see myself living there!

My experiences overseas are one of the best things about my college experience. I will never forget the first time I got off the plane in Paris or the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower—things I’d dreamed of since I was little. I had only the wildest hopes when I started school about what my college career would be and every single day has been better than what I wanted. I’ve seen and done amazing things, while meeting some of the best people in the world.