Not too long ago, a man from the countryside in India had to visit a large city. As he was heading to his destination in a local train, he suddenly discovered that he had taken the wrong one: the line did go through his destination but did not stop in that station. A fellow passenger, noticing how inexperienced he was, advised him “The train may not stop but it certainly slows down a bit. You can easily jump off and you’ll make it. Just make sure that as soon as you jump off, you continue running, otherwise you will fall!!”
The man was ready when the moment arrived: he jumped! Just as he was told, he continued running in order to avoid tripping. As he was running, worried that he would fall if he slowed down, he eventually caught up with the train and started running faster than it. At one point, further in the train, people noticed a man running close to their wagon, so they decided to give him a hand and helped him back into the train, thinking he was trying to get on. The people in his previous wagon could not stop laughing, poor guy, he didn’t know how to get off the train.
As obvious as it may seem, getting off a train in motion, even if it slows down, is quite complex for those who haven’t done it before. When my stop arrived to get off the AIESEC train, it wasn’t at all like I had imagined. The train departs quite fast and all of the sudden you’re standing in the platform watching it leave. No more roll calls, AIESEC shirts, global villages or inspirational conferences. Is it that bad to leave?
Not at all, for a single reason: another train is bound to come, what matters is being ready for it. As I became an AIESEC alumnus I realized, day by day, that my debt to AIESEC was for life, and that many opportunities to give something back lay there in front of me. Watching your previous train leave gives you great perspective of the path you’ve taken. Memories still give fruit to wisdom, old friends become even better friends and the best jokes never get old.
Becoming an alumnus is a refreshing experience; it was unexpectedly empowering for me, since it allowed me to achieve two objectives that I only discovered I dreamt about when they became an opportunity: to chair a seminar in my home LC Guadalajara and to become part of its Board of advisors.
No one is ever fully prepared to jump off the AIESEC train, nothing we can think of it compares to the actual moment; however, if there is another train coming, just try to remember.. you weren’t fully prepared for the AIESEC ride you just took, yet, you turned out just fine.
Trust the next train, it’s full of surprises.
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