So, I’ve been thinking lately (I know, I’ve been doing this a lot….) and I’ve taken some time to reflect on my past experiences with minor obstacles that hindered me from my goal.
But before I go into this I should probably explain said goal. For the longest time, my goal in life was to graduate from University with my two degrees and so far I’ve been successful. I’m almost there, in the final leg of the race just about to cross the finish line. Anyway, in my 4th year, second semester I was taking this english course because at the time I felt super ambitious and thought I could achieve not only a double major but also 2 degrees (this ambition literally bit me in the ass and in the end, I’ll still have two degrees but instead of a double major it’s just the 1 plus a minor – so win win I guess). Now, this english course had boring content really, but the professor made it interesting and worth while to sit during his lectures. Let me tell you, I love those kinds of lectures (but I mean who doesn’t like to sit and learn about things that are interesting right?) The one’s that keep you engaged for the entire duration because everything the professor says just makes sense. The professor also related the course content to everyday situations so needless to say, I enjoyed going to these lectures.
But after writing a barely passable midterm, I was sweating a little bit. So the professor told us to come by his office to check our grades and see what we would need to do on the essay to get a decent grade. Of course, usually I’m not one to make office appointments unless I’m really struggling or I did shit on the midterm – and in this case I fit the bill for the latter. So here I am, making an appointment to speak with this professor and the experience was not a pleasant one.
I walk into the office and we begin chatting. I ask the professor what my grade is so far within the course based on the midterm and whatever little quizzes/assignments we had already done (all we had left was the major paper and the final exam). I honestly thought I was sitting in the 60s range, but found out I was actually in the 50s – I was so shocked and disappointed but I should’ve known based on my crap midterm. But my grades weren’t even the worst part about this entire experience. It was just the overall interaction I had with the professor. The professor’s tone throughout the entire conversation was belittling and condescending. The tone was basically saying “why don’t you already know how to calculate your own grades hm? Why don’t you know how to pass my course?” The entire time I was talking to the professor I lost complete confidence and I just didn’t want to be in the same room at all. I had to hold back tears the entire time in order to keep some semblance of pride. I didn’t want to have shitty marks and cry in front of the professor you know? After I left that terrible meeting, I cried. My friend was shocked because I don’t cry – only the odd time and this was obviously one of those times. She asked how the meeting went and I explained the whole situation to her and she felt pretty much the same.
I remember another experience similar to this one but it was in my first year. I took an introduction to human rights course and the professor was the head of the department. I wish I had known ahead of time that the professor was the head before I signed up for the course otherwise I would’ve taken another course with a different prof. This prof was so tough, and it hit me so hard. Again in this course, I had submitted an assignment and done the midterm but unfortunately did not do too well on either. So my grades for the next assignment and the final exam had to be stellar to even compensate for such shitty performances prior. Fortunately, I didn’t really have to interact with this professor in person as I was able to figure things out for myself this time around.
But, the point of these two experiences was that I grew. Over the years I’ve found that I’m the type of person that can be kicked down when faced by a challenge and I will most definitely have an emotional break down. It may be tears or it may be a feeling of worthlessness for a little while. But eventually, I pick myself back up and turn those negative feelings into determination and hatred (okay, hatred may be a strong word but I mean it feels roughly the same….so maybe aggressive is the better word here) in order to completely and utterly destroy that obstacle to reach my goals. The outcome for that english course in my 4th year? Ended up passing the course with a B+. Killed the final essay and final exam like nobody’s business. Did I feel smug when I got my paper back from the professor? Sort of but I guess there weren’t really any bad feelings from me towards the professor, not real dislike anyways. I guess I just got rubbed the wrong way which left a lasting impression. The outcome for my human rights course in first year? Finished the course with an A! Completely wrecked that final exam and that was probably the highlight of my entire first year – that A was literally a big “F*** You!” and I got my vengeance by destroying that final exam.
Needless to say, when life gets rough (and it will) don’t ever forget to pick yourself back up. Give yourself some time to wallow and suffer because in the end it’ll help you realize a few things:
1) We’re all human, we make mistakes and it’s okay
2) Learn from this mistake and move forward. You’ve messed up but now you know what doesn’t work. So take this and run with it. This knowledge is so valuable.
In the end, take these obstacles and challenges in stride. Sure, somedays it’ll feel like the world is against you but I truly believe that you’re only given as much as you can handle. You might not think you can handle it, but you most definitely can.
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”