My dad used to say it seemed I always had to learn my lessons the hard way. He also used to tell me regularly to pull in my horns – I was, and still am, tenacious. So….being the know-it-all 17-year old, during my first year of college, I got the opportunity to live out loud both his observations.
My first taste of college was a no holds barred, I’m-on-my-own-I-can-do-what-I-want-when-I-want, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do, I-know-it-all, experience. Out all night and 8:00 am classes….no problem…don’t go. That became the norm rather than the exception, which inevitably lead to me being given the bums rush off campus, a polite “don’t bother until you get your shit together” exit that was not my strategy. That was learning the hard way.
Even though it was through my actions alone I was in the spot I was in, I was still pissed – and indignant (Imagine!) – my horns WAY out and blaming everybody but myself. My response was to set my jaw, enroll at a community college, deciding “I’ll show THEM!”
Getting booted from your university because you’re doing too many other things rather than going to class is a hard, embarrassing, and expensive lesson to learn. But it drew a line in the sand that made me clearly understand my success or failure was entirely up to me. I decided I liked the look of success a lot better than the other option.
Due to the the other tenacious, I’ll-show-you part of my personality, and the fact that I wasn’t stupid and was a good student when I put my effort toward education, I took a full load at the community college. I was laser focused on learning, on grades, and being the “curve-buster” in every class I took. Some of the other students hated that, but I was on the road to academic recovery. At the end of the first semester, I had “showed ’em” – I had 4-pointed it. And then I did it all over again the next semester. After that second semester of a 4-point average, my university welcomed me back with open arms.
Actually I think I really showed myself more than anybody else. I realized that once again, I had learned the hard way. Had my priorities been in line the first year of college, I would not have had to go through this drill. But I also might not have learned how much I valued my future and illustrated to myself just what I can do when I’m focused and it’s important to me.
Had I not been booted from the University, I just might not have gotten the chance to really know myself and my strengths. Yep, I still have a tendency to learn the hard way, but I also have the horns to help me get through whatever it might be.
Got any Fiasco’s of your own you’d like to share? Let us know…..