50 Prompt Challenge: #3 “Write about a time in your life when things weren’t the way you or others thought they should be

This one is really easy, because I am reminded constantly of how things are, and how they should be.

I graduated high school in 2006, and immediately turned my thoughts to college. Unfortunately, I graduated from high school with a dismal GPA and my ACT scores were all but laughable. I had lost all hope. Oklahoma City University had accepted me into their magazine writing program, but I couldn’t afford the out-of-state tuition and honestly, how would I have gotten to OKC? I applied at MTSU, but of course the they turned me down on the basis of my dismal high school performance. I would have been only accepted on academic probation.

Thus, I decided to register at Motlow State Community College. I thought this was a soft option, because it was a “community college” and not a big four-year institution. I rationalized it like, “Chris, you’re stupid.” In the end, it turned out to be the greatest decision of my life. Since MSCC opened a campus so close to home, I didn’t have to commute very far at all, which pleased me greatly. The only thing that worried me was registration. What kind of classes would have to take, and how would I be looked at for my ACT scores? To my surprise, the individual who registered me was favorably impressed by my grades in English, and my “Outstanding” on the state writing exam that all Tennessee students take junior year. I will never forget being asked, “Would you like to be in Honors English? You’d love Mrs. Palmer”

Of course, I’d like to be in Honors English. I was never challenged in high school, I’m assuming because NO ONE thought I would be able to handle the work. Eh, screw them.

So, I was put into Honors English and that started my journey to academic success and freedom.

However, I spent longer than I should have at MSCC. I saw friends come and friends go. I saw one of my best friends transfer to MTSU and later graduate. I was still at Motlow, struggling to get past my mathematics barrier. I cried, I fussed, I begged the college Vice President to let me off the hook – nothing doing. My father, wanted me to transfer to MTSU immediately. I refused, stating that I wanted to graduate with an “honors” diploma. After semesters of struggle, I finally conquered my demon and passed math.

Sticking to my own principles and ideals, I graduated two years behind schedule. I started in the fall of ’06 and didn’t graduate until Spring ’10. I made it though. Screw timelines. I graduated “Cum Laude,” one of the proudest moments of my life. Not only did I accomplish my own goal, I made many wonderful friends along the way.

So, things didn’t go the way my family wanted them to. My friends remarked on how slow the process was, but I did it my way. I made my own goal and succeed.

Now, I’m finishing my BA in English Literature.. it’s been a tough road, but who cares, I’m going to finish this. Why? Because, I’ve already accomplished that goal once. I can do it again!

One thought on “50 Prompt Challenge: #3 “Write about a time in your life when things weren’t the way you or others thought they should be”

  1. I literally almost started crying when you said you graduated two years behind schedule. That hits so close to home. It’s been engraved in our minds every since middle school, even, that you have to attend college and graduate with a BS or BA in something within four years. That’s a negative. I fucked up my first full year of college, but I’ll be back at MTSU in the Fall of 2012 (next fall, YAAY). I’ll be a year behind all my friends, but at least I’m still attending!
    I agree with you, Chris. Let’s raise our middle fingers and shout a big “FUCK YOU” to standard college timelines. We’re different and not a sheeple like everyone else. We like to experience new things and take our time with certain topics, or even stray away from what we’re comfortable with just dip our toes in the water. I.E You taking spanish / me going to a shitty “college” (fuckmar/daymar).

    I love you, Chris. Your writing is impeccable.

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