Life’s little lessons…

September 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Have you learned something, after the fact, that was completely incongruent with what you were either told or believed?  Here is an odd example, but not the one that is weighing heavily on my mind right now.  In high school, I was told that your score on the SAT was a good predictor of how you would do in college.  I was pretty much an A student in high school, though I never understood how since I rarely studied and was usually doing homework for the next class in the one before.  That is for the classes I showed up for – I was never an early riser and pretty much missed most of my first period econ my senior high.  I had an A in the class but still got detention for missing so much class.

I did not score particularly well on the SAT.  Need I remind anyone that those stupid tests were always on a Saturday morning at 8am, earlier than school started during the week.  I would take each section as fast as I could and then take a nap until the next section. Not a recipe for success.  I ended up taking the SAT three times because my guidance counselor and parents believed I was not performing to my potential.  Well, duh.  My study habits were non-existent and sleep was a higher priority than any test (this hasn’t changed in 20 years).

I took this belief that I was not going to do well in college because my SAT scores predicted this and proceeded to almost fail out my freshman year.  Why?  Because I still hadn’t developed any study skills and because most of my classes were at 8am or 9am, which I generally slept through.  So, was the SAT a good predictor or a self-fulfilling prophecy?  I would say some of both.

However, academic probation will wake just about anyone up to what they want to do.  And since I started the whole college thing and now felt lost, I took some classes that summer at home to get my head in the game. I did really well and then went back to school in the fall more motivated (mainly to not live at home).  I graduated with a B average overall but in the back of my mind, I always felt like I was swimming against the current.

Today, I officially graduate with my second masters degree.  It still shocks me that I pursued the first and graduated.  But to do it a second time is even more shocking as I have definitively proven to myself that some stupid test is not a predictor of anything. Not your academic ability. Or your personality. Or your success.

I never started this quest to gain a bunch of degrees or have initials after my name.  I wanted to learn about specific areas of the business world and wanted to research workplace questions that have bugged me for years.  My full aim was to set out and prove to myself that my ideas weren’t ridiculous or frivolous, as others have always tried to make me believe.

I sit here, looking out the window, listening to great music and my spirit is soaring.  It took a while, but I have completely changed my entire belief about myself academically, despite some deeply held belief that I could never accomplish a goal like this.   Now, if I apply this to another situation I recently encountered and believe it, watch out world!!

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Entry filed under: Relationships, school, thoughts, workplace. Tags: , , , , , , .

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