Two things didn’t mix well in my life. One was being a full time student and the other an athlete.
It was great not having parents around telling you to do your homework or to go to class, of which I never did. I had a choice, which was more important, playing lacrosse or studying. Like any first year college student I picked lacrosse. At that point I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. Who at that age would know either?
My worst nightmare came true in the summer of 1989. I was academically dismissed from the university. I thought to myself “no way, this could never happen to me, I played lacrosse, had a girlfriend, and I was popular, how could this have happened”. The worst part of the whole experience was the car ride home from the post office. The feeling of emptiness overwhelmed me, I felt as if I had nothing inside my body. I thought, “What am I going to do?” Then I had to face my parents, boy was I scared. What was I going to tell them? Sorry mom and dad but I wasted your money; I had no excuses so I told them the truth.
What happened after that changed my life forever. It was either the military or goes to a community college and tries to redeem myself. I wanted to do neither, but I had to choose. The military was off my list and going to a community college sounded o. k.
So I registered and the rest of that summer I had to deal with the fact that I had not accomplished anything in the past year and this was wakeup call and the only chance I had left to prove to myself that I could do something. The fall semester rolled around and I realized that I wanted to do the work for myself not for anyone else. This proved to be beneficial, for I received a 3.67 grade point average for that semester. That spring was just as good, that year my grade point average was a 3.46. I was happy, and so were my parents. I proceeded to reapply back to my former university and was accepted. I graduated with over a 3.0 in my major and was offered a job in Washington D. C.
Being dismissed from college was one experience that I have never regretted and never will. I can see why this happened; I was a student athlete, which doesn’t mix. Being an athlete in college I had to practice Monday through Saturday, I was always tired, too tired to study and go to class. I did learn a couple things though, sportsmanship, self-discipline, teamwork, cooperation, and concentration. Too bad none of these attributes rubbed off on my schooling. The university said that they would help me out with my schoolwork but that was just a lie, one in which they still use today. The school put me into these “easy” classes, which didn’t teach me anything except how to fall asleep in class. The university was only worried about winning games and being nationally recognized. They didn’t help me when I was doing poorly and even after I was dismissed.
After being dismissed, I realized a few things, one that the university only cared about my money, another was that everything I did I did for someone else, and that I was accomplishing nothing I my life.
This was a reality check; I realized that if I didn’t start doing something now, I would never amount to anything. I was going to go back to school do the best I can possibly do. It worked out, and this attitude I had carried over to my job in D.C.
After this whole experience, I have realized that I can do anything that I want to do or become anyone I want to be, from a cartographer to a schoolteacher. This experience had led me into many different directions; even now, it has led me into graduate school for education. Being an adolescent has its vicissitudes, which I found out the hard way. Adolescence is all about trial and error, taking chances.
Without mistakes how does one learn? Know I can look back and laugh on this experience along with my parents and friends. I would never wish this to happen to anyone else, but one day when you’re thinking that this can never happen to yourself, it will. And that goes for everything in life. I am a changed person because of this, I am happier, ambitious, I want to do things that are challenging and fun, and most of all I know how to learn from my mistakes.