Motivate. Inspire. Grow.
One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is from the movie Tommy Boy. Chris Farley, “Tommy”, barely skates through his final exam and graduates college and when David Spade “Richard” picks him up from the airport Tommy says, “A lot of people go to school for seven years” with Richard replying “Yea, they’re called doctors!”
Maybe this quote is just that funny or maybe I like it because it hits close to home. I finally graduated college in December of 2018. I took my first college class in August of 2010 and no, eight years later, I am not a doctor. However, I wouldn’t trade my journey for the world. That degree is worth more to me than gold. I poured my blood, sweat and tears into seeing that through but it wasn’t always that way.
Before I left for the military, I failed more classes than I passed. I cheated, I made excuses and I told myself “college is just not for me.” I will vulnerably admit that on the day I enlisted in the United States Army I had a 1.9 GPA over two and a half years of college thus far- but I didn’t quit. I promised myself that one day I would finish school.
After I enlisted, I took classes when I was overseas in a variety of countries, then in Kentucky and ending back in Kent, Ohio right where the enlistment started – but things were different. I am proud to say I had a 4.0 since I returned home from the military.
Did I get smarter? Maybe (however, rather unlikely). Did the classes get easier? Again, unlikely. What was the difference? My mindset changed. I tried harder. I cared more. I desired to learn and I wanted that degree more than anything.
Am I telling you this to brag? No. I am sharing this with you because our journeys in life will always be different from those around us. Like snowflakes in the winter, no two people’s paths in life will ever be the exact same. We all experience different obstacles and challenges as well as triumphs. It took my little brother, Dominic, three and half years to graduate college and that amazed me. I couldn’t have been more proud. It motivated me beyond measure. It took me twice as long to graduate but I graduated. We both started something and saw it through with a completely different path to get there and that’s ok.
Value the path you take. It’s not about where you go in life but more importantly, the type of person you are when you get there. My path to graduating helped me grow in a way that was unique to me and it changed my life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
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