Toll ways

by Ryan Bye 

I have completed my move to Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. It has taken me approximately two weeks, three trips to Chicago, four visits from loved ones, and countless craft projects to turn this new place into my home. I have always wanted to live in the Chicagoland area – but one thing I am not accustomed to or prepared for were all the toll roads in the area. I guess that’s how it usually goes though!

Toll roads are extremely unfamiliar to me – so the whole concept of paying to drive down stretches of freeway… I mean highway… has seemed absurd. In fact, I have actually made it my prerogative to avoid them. I’ve looked up routes, with the avoid tolls option clicked, and found the paths that are maybe two miles and five minutes longer with substantially more traffic – all in an effort to avoid paying a toll.

Well, I thought I had the routes memorized, and I did. Except for this one night, I was headed home (back to Valpo) after a day spent in the city with my brother, taking him to the airport, and dinner with great friends. I was confident I knew the direction and figured I could talk on the phone instead of using the GPS. Well needless to say, I got a little turned around, and ended up having to pay a $1.50 toll, TWICE!

I was disgruntled, annoyed, and ultimately had $3.00 less. But I did learn a new route home, talk to a good friend, and I had a fun time exploring a new place. This happens in life – all the time. We take risks, and there is always a price, but with risks come rewards and lessons. Think about the risks we take – we move across the country for jobs, trust others, love, hope, and accept challenges we might not succeed at.

In the end, we might have to pay the $3.00 toll, no matter how much we try not to. Yet, as the lesson is in Moulin Rouge so it is with taking risks, “The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”. Sometimes it is about paying the toll or as @DrDeeGee says, “you have to take calculated risks”.

What risks have you taken? What lessons have you learned? How do you measure if the risk has been worth it?

In peace,

Ryan Bye 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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