Life can be great. It really can. However, life can also be rough. In my 19 years, I’ve gotten knocked around by life a few times. I’ve felt defeated and let down and hurt…but everyone’s been there. Through all of my experiences, the primary thing I’ve learned is to pick yourself off and keep moving. After my father passed away, my mother always said we had to be a “glass-half-full” kind of family. As cheesy as that sounded to me at age 12, now I know it’s true. If things get tough, you have to keep your chin up, see the bright side, and fight through the disappointment.
This advice can be applied to your career, too. And your education.
A perfect example of picking up the pieces and moving forward happened to me last year. I was caught in the middle of some pretty big personal problems. My family, my health, my future…they were all in question. Then, to top things out, I found out I got a D in a math class. Math is a touchy subject for me, as I can’t even really balance my check book. Basic adding and subtracting sometimes addles me. To make matters worse, in that particular class, a D is considered a failing grade. So, school was becoming a problem, too.
With a bruised ego, a scarred transcript, and a whole lot of additional stress, I decided I needed to shake it off and move on. Freshman year was hard, I just needed to survive the rest of it and rebuild my reputation and name next year.
I dove into my major-related studies, head-on. If I couldn’t do well in my gen-eds, I’d show them what I could with my interactive media classes. I gave myself time to be hurt, to feel sad, to even mope in disappointment towards myself…then I moved on.
I had to.
Now, I know, failing one class is relatively small in the greater scheme. Added to what I was already facing outside of classes, it felt like a massive blow. My overachieving self had trouble handling the thought of ever failing a class.
Whether your Goliath is a bad grade on a transcript, or something much bigger, you have to be willing to stare it in the face. You need to be strong enough to say, “You can’t slow me down.” Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing on Earth to do.
Over the weekend, I was reminded of some of the personal issues that had made that failed math class feel so much more devastating. In hindsight, it’s all just a part of my story. It builds character, as teachers and parents all over the world would say. I suppose they’re right.