Always expect the unexpected to happen. Right?
I attended a state college for about 4 years right after high school but didn't complete my degree. I was in a car accident during the last semester and I spent quite a bit of time recovering. Hit by an unemployed, uninsured drunk driver on the freeway while we were at a standstill. He was going more than 60mph. I didn't drive on a freeway again for several months and simply stopped going to school. I assumed I would get Incompletes and they would stand as such.
Five years later, I enrolled in a different university and completed my BA. My GPA was 3.45 because I received a C in two courses. Financial management (last time I took math was in 10th grade. Hello!) and Marketing (my professor dissed my final project as "completely ridiculous and unattainable." I had proposed a fruit drink with added vitamins and caffeine. Way back in 1989. But this is a whole other rant about my arrogant/ding-dong teacher and I won't continue.)
Fast forward to yesterday as I worked with admissions for a masters program. All those "Incomplete's" from my first college? Turned to "F's." And the process to undo them involves a petition, medical documentation from the mid-80s and more than 6 months for a final decision.
Now I have to take two pre-requisite classes and then petition for acceptance for my master's. I'll be the Black Sheep of the class. The one who really doesn't deserve to be there. Because I was stupid stupid stupid in my youth. All I had to do was officially drop the classes for medical reasons and my GPA would have been fine and dandy.
This illustrates the point that I tried to make with my niece when she lived with us for several months in 2006. It's great to be carefree and have fun when you're young. But don't kid yourself and think that you can get away with anything. You can't. The past will rise up to bite you in the butt. I know people who partied hard in their early twenties, got DUIs (which didn't concern them at the time) and then couldn't get jobs as sales reps five years later because of their record.
As I talked through my options with several people yesterday, all of my past failings rushed to the forefront of my mind. All those years of things I didn't complete. Opportunities I didn't pursue. All those feelings that I was going to be a failure because of my upbringing. That I am less because I spent so many years dealing with the turmoil throughout my childhood. All my friends who are wildly - and I mean Wildly - successful. My inability to be promoted to director at the two companies where I did my best work. My constant, nagging belief that I am my own worst enemy. My failure to live up to my potential.
I thought I left all this stuff behind many years ago and then BAMO! It was back.
I probably can't undo my mistakes at my first college and will just need to press forward. But I'm embarrassed about being such a low achiever in a class with people who did much better at school. Now I'm panicked that I am going to fail. Because it's my destiny.
Ugh. I'm in a bad place. And very, very angry with myself right now.