Practicing Perseverance


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.

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2 thoughts on “Practicing Perseverance

  1. Kelly,I assume this is the "personal post" you were debating about in your tweet? I think being able to show a personal side, yet still be professional can have benefits. Like showing how you've improved yourself after hardships and set-backs. My girlfriend's father also passed away when she was around 13. We've been dating for around four years now, she's my best friend and I know that she hasn't let it set her back, even though she thinks about him everyday. So you're not alone there :)You're also not alone in the math department, I have a blemish on my transcript from a calculus class my freshman year. It made me work that much harder to counter it with my other grades.Best,Spencer

  2. Thanks, Spencer. I hit another brick wall a few days back, this post was mainly to remind myself to get back on track. Even if no one reads this blog, I like having it to keep things kinda-sorta-maybe-a-little in perspective.As far as math goes…we can be be bad-math-people together. Whoever I marry will definitely need to know how to handle financial records, because I probably shouldn't be trusted to balance my own checkbook :PThanks again for the comment!

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