Conquering a Doubt


“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.Daily Post

I don’t know that this really fits into the make it there, make it anywhere theme. But it still falls within the bounds of the topic I think. And if it doesn’t, oh well. Who cares. 🙂

In high school I was always the student who could get good grades with little to no effort. I never had homework that I actually had to do at home because I always finished it at school. I never had to study because I just remembered what was gone over in class. Yet I was always making good grades and was on the honor roll.

I graduated high school and started into the local four year university in the fall of that year. Things didn’t go so well at the university. I did poorly in my classes, probably completing fewer classes than I actually did finish. Those I did complete I did not complete as well as I was expecting. I only lasted a few semesters at the university before I decided it was not for me.

A year or two later I started attending the local community college. I did great in those classes. Again, very little time had to be spent on homework outside of class and very little studying had to be done. I was flying through the classes and aceing them without any problems. It was like it was high school all over again.

So the question became was community college so much easier than the four year university? What other answer could there possibly be? I wasn’t sure but I kept wondering to myself if I had what it took to complete classes at a four year university. Or was it just to tough for me?

Well, as it turned out I got my chance to find out. In my job a lot of the promotions I was interested in required having a bachelors degree or to atleast be working towards one. Even though I felt having a piece of paper showing you completed a degree was overrated and unnecessary in many cases, if I wanted to advance I needed to conquer the four year university.

My employer had an agreement with another four year university which allowed you to pay a small deposit upfront and then pay the remainder of the tuition at the end of the semester once you were reimbursed. I took advantage of this and enrolled at another four year university to get my bachelors degree. The whole time I found myself wondering if I would be able to complete the work or if it would be a struggle like my previous attempt at a four year university was.

Much to my surprise I found this attempt to be much different from the first attempt. I breezed through the classes with little effort required. I ended up with a B in only one class. The last semester and a half was accomplished with a newborn at home while working a full time job and going to school full time. I was amazed at the difference and relieved that I was actually able to complete the coursework so easily. I had answered my question about whether or not I could handle a four year university.

In looking back on the original experience where I was not successful, I don’t think it is necessarily about how tough the classes were. I think in hindsight I wasn’t truly ready for college. Not everyone is ready for college immediately out of high school. I went because it was what was expected.

And I enjoyed the college experience, but not for the classes and work. I enjoyed the friends and people I knew and met. I enjoyed hanging out in the computer lab. I enjoyed the prestige one feels with being in college, being grown up and out of high school. But it takes more than that to succeed in college. It takes study skills which I had not learned in high school because I had no need for them.

Do I think I could go back to that original four year university and succeed now? Yes, I do. Does that mean I think I could make it at any college? Maybe. I’m a pretty confident person and like to think I am smart enough to keep up. But I think I may be a little out of my league if I tried to go to Harvard or Yale or some other prestigous Ivy League school like that. Especially if I tried to do it while working full time and having a family at the same time.


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