Who I Became

In spite of my romance novel-reading ways, I was never an honor student. I didn’t sit on the stage for my high school graduation and there was serious doubt that I’d ever graduate from college. How many times did I sit on my swing at home with a 40oz beer and a Milky Way crying my eyes out because I couldn’t pass Math 101? Heh too many to count. Yes, I was that person in college who was in school long enough to get a Masters.

In all those years I was in college, real life seemed so far away. At first, I was trying to find my feet and learning to juggle a 18-credit semester with work and band. Yes, I was a band geek in college. Once I got the hang of things, I discovered the fine art of partying. *cough* Yes, my friends and I knew every bar in a twenty-five mile radius and which ones had $1 beer night on which day of the week.

Needless to say, I didn’t spend an awful lot of time on my books and studying. I didn’t completely slack; I just didn’t hit them as hard as I should have. I had a friend who always finished his papers a month before they were due, while I and two other friends would write them the night before. Cramming? It was a way of life for us. Yes, I wrote a 35 page independent study paper the morning it was due. *cough* And the professor loved it.

That was normal for me. I crammed, I procrastinated, and I graduated.

Twelve years later, I’m shocked to discover my nephew—who is about to start his second year in college—was finishing up a research paper the day before it was due. Why am I so shocked? I know what college life was like. I lived it and loved it until it nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. I suppose I’m so shocked because my nephew, unlike me, is a good student.

He has the GPA I never had and he’s more driven that I ever was. When he told me his paper was due so soon and he was just about to start typing it up…I had the nerve to ask, “Waited kind of late, huh?” *face slap*

It’s funny though. Now that I’ve had years to look back at my college days, I shake my head and think “I was a stupid kid”. Yet, I can’t deny that those were some of the best days I ever had. Sure, sure, my friend who wrote his papers a month in advance takes vacations to Italy and I’m lucky if I can go to Biloxi for a weekend, but I’m strangely okay with that.

So I will not fuss my nephew for not being an overachiever. Nope. I will not become that person who always says, “When I was your age…” because honestly? I was a lot worse than he will ever be, LOL

How about you? Do you find yourself warning those younger than you about something you’ve done in the hopes they’ll avoid the same mistakes? Do you ever want to slap yourself because you know it won’t do any good anyway?

9 Comments

Filed under Family

9 responses to “Who I Became

  1. I totally do. I was such a flop in high school. Terrible grades. Just plain naughty. Got into college only because I could play tennis (coach helped get me into college on probation by ACT scores/grades were so bad.) But once I got in college, I shaped up and graduated with honors, same with grad school. I try and tell the ‘young ones’ my story so they don’t have to make it so hard….LOL.

    Who knows if they listen. I wouldn’t have. LOL

  2. jeff7salter

    I was very fortunate. I played around in H.S. and still had good grades (B+ ave.) and good college board exam scores.
    My big brother ws the straight A student and validictorian … but (in my eyes) he didn’t ENJOY school. I wanted to have fun. And I did.
    College was another matter altogther. I could no longer get by on charm or luck, so I came close to flunking out. This was during Vietnam when they were drafting boys with poor attitudes about college. I avoided the draft but enlisted in the USAF. After the military, on the G.I. Bill, I suddenly got serious about college and aced it. Of course, I was married with two kids by then, so I grew up fast.
    Then went back for masters degree … but that’s another story entirely.

    • Hm, I enjoyed college way too much for a first generation college student, but I don’t regret it. I learned a lot of useless information that would help me if I ever ended up on Cash Cab…well, maybe not enough to win, but I’d do okay, I think.

  3. Angie

    I can’t realate. I have never had to cram! I was a diligent student. Always prepared! (jumps out the way to avoid lighting strike)

    • Yeah…okay…and who started talking with a fake British accent because they’d had too much coffee in a 24-hour period and caused our professor serious concern when that e-mail was sent?

  4. KAK

    Yeah, it took me until my Junior year of undergrad to figure out that if I went to class, I could pass the class.

    erm

    yeah

  5. Overachiver here. Yep, I’ve tried to give advice but I’ve learned everyone has to make their own mistakes and I’ve tried to step back and let it happen. Hard! LOL! But one of my kids is an overachiever like his mom. The other is so laid back, he’s almost an ameoba!

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