During my junior year of high school, I was in an algebra class. While the teacher was discussing the lesson, I was in the back of the classroom, loudly discussing the college I planned on attending. Talking while the teacher was talking was a habit of mine. Finally fed up with my boisterous conversation, my teacher turned around in front of the whole class and said, "I don't know why you're even discussing college. You better save your family some money because you're just going to flunk out and be a garbage man."
My whole demeanor changed. My previously happy and joyful face dropped, and my emotions swelled. Anger quickly began to build up, as well as embarrassment. I felt devastated and discouraged and began to question myself.
After that incident in class, I felt completely demoralized. The words of my teacher weighed heavily on me, and I tried to shake off the negative influence of his words. As the day went on, these words forced me to reflect on my goals and what I truly wanted. I realized that, for a while, I had no plan and was wandering.
While my teacher's comments hurt, I knew deep down that I had what it took to be successful in college, despite my previous academic history and his words. After some time, I decided that I wanted to attend Central Michigan University to study logistics.
However, while I was performing well in my studies at Central Michigan, I quickly lost interest in my work and started to feel like business wasn't right for me. Additionally, I began to feel like the city of Mount Pleasant wasn't a proper fit for me either. I started to feel lost and unsure about my future once again.
One day, while on a call with my sister, I opened up to her about how I was feeling. She had recently moved to California and suggested that if I wanted to, I could come out to visit her. I told her I'd think about it as I still had to worry about school. As my semester played out, my feelings proceeded to get worse. Having realized this, I called my sister and took her up on her offer. I decided that I would take a gap semester after that summer and come stay with her in California for a few months. This change of scenery was just what I needed to better plan my next steps before making any snap decisions.
Unfortunately, my arrival in California coincided with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many places shut down, leaving me stuck inside the house. However, I used the time to explore the state, read a multitude of books, and reflect on what I truly wanted out of life. During this time, I discovered my interest in psychology, and it became clear to me that Central Michigan University wasn't the best fit for me. I started researching other colleges and decided to transfer to Michigan State University to pursue a degree in the field.
As I get closer to graduating, April 3rd, 2017, is a day that keeps popping up in my mind.I realize that my teacher's comments may have been hurtful, but they also pushed me into becoming more focused and realizing my potential. I learned to trust my instincts and follow my passions, no matter how unconventional they may seem. And in the end, I found my own version of success.
The journey to get where I am today wasn't an easy one, but it taught me many valuable lessons along the way. I learned that sometimes, a setback can be the catalyst for something new. It's important to have a support system in place, like my sister, who was there for me and most importantly, I learned to believe in myself and trust that I had what it takes to achieve my dreams. Despite the hurtful comments of my teacher, I never gave up on myself and kept pushing forward until I found my true calling.