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…..
Sometimes you need to see what doesn’t work before you feel good about what does. Especially school…you’re just not ready after high school sometimes…I’m 56 and I think I just now got it!