“This is easy”, I said to myself as I strolled out of the auditorium. “All this old guy does is talk and put notes up on a projector screen. It’s a piece of cake” (wow, I was cocky). Those were my very thoughts in my first Animal and Veterinary Science course. What this old guy talked about seemed so simple to remember that I didn’t need to study–and best of all was that he gave no homework or other assignments. I had it made…or so I thought.
My laid-back attitude in his class began to creep into my others, and before I knew it I was justifying my slack work ethic in all of them. Soon, I was able to justify turning in late projects, doing “B” level work when an extra night of work could have gotten me an “A” and lying to my professors as to why I had not completed certain phases on projects just because I knew that they had so many students that they couldn’t remember my name long enough to discipline me. I was on a roll–a fast roll to fail.
This is the attitude that snowballed for the next two and a half years until my GPA bore fruit of my First Day Attitude with a dismall 1.96–I still shake my head in shame of that. Now listen well, and don’t close this post: I earned that GPA, and it started the first day of class. If your attitude is not set to succeed on the first day, then your result will be failure. They put me on academic probation and the very next semester my semester GPA was a 3.5–yeah, you read that correctly. No, i didn’t take underwater basket weaving and Jedi Principles 301 to boost my GPA–I took real courses. However, my attitude on the first day was totally different. Now I must admit, the situation surrounding that entire semester was nothing short of a miracle, but it would not have occurred without a change in my attitude. “So what did I do differently?” you might ask. Well, let’s see. Here is one thing that I did differently, and I will post the next thing tomorrow:
#1) I Counted The Cost of Failure
When I started college, I had colleges begging me to come and be a part of their education and athletic families. I was finding money everywhere. Also, to make matters worse, each semester I had more money than I needed–alot more. I had enough money to eat out, start bank accounts, treat girls, buy presents, go to every party and never miss a game. So everything was free–I saw no costs. I forgot that my family was recovering from some major financial mistakes, and that the money that I was receiving was my only option. When my GPA dropped, I lost all of that money, and thanks to my lavish lifestyle I found myself starting school with $20, a 13-inch black and white television that got no channels, a 1992 Ford Tempo and a box of junk that I called my closet. It was going to be a long semester.
At that point, it was almost too late to count the cost of failure. I found that the cost was steeper than I could afford and greater than I had ever imagined. I was able to see the stress and disappointment that I placed on my family. Now, every minute of my life was a race to survive because I had now entered the most difficult phase of my degree and I had not learned the basic fundamentals required. I didn’t know that financial aid has a cut off date and monetary limit so I was officially off of my time and on theirs–I HAD to graduate within a short amount of time or ELSE. All of my dreams were on a timeline as well, and I had officially made them late. When you count the cost of failure, it might keep you up at night more than your chemistry homework will…