The point of this post is to define a time in your life when you were handed lemons and made lemonade. If you’ve never heard the analogy it basically means explain how you were put in a tough situation and made the best of it turning it into a GOOD thing. I think I have something good that will fit here…
Lemonade moments have dotted my life a lot but I’m a “glass half full” guy. I’ve always looked at the better side of things when something bad has happened. It is just a better general feeling I think to always be positive than negative anyway.
I was 19 and just finishing my first year in college. The grades were mediocre for the first year, but I think that was due to the fact that I took 21 credits my freshman year and didn’t realize:
1. Studying for 7 classes takes a lot more time than it did in high school.
2. Socializing takes a lot more time than it did in high school.
3. Managing your time takes a lot more than it did in high school.
4. YOU are responsible for everything you do in school.
I was able to cruise through high school never taking a book home and still getting a pretty decent 3.7 GPA. It really started to wear on me when I found out what I got myself into. My scholarship was based on me keeping a 3.0 GPA and that first semester I got a 2.3 and 2.7 respectively.
That meant that my scholarship was going to take a hike for the following year and if I didn’t get the GPA back up. After freshman year they sucker you in a bit more and take some of the $ away anyway. They base that on you thinking you want to continue and that you’ll likely pay a bit more the following year. I actually had to find a way to come with about 1ok more than I did my freshman year.
Money was tight in my house anyway; Mom was just getting back into the workforce after my old man left, and hewas helping to fund my college the first year, but I had to take out a few more loans the second year for that other 10k I needed.
I needed to buckle down and clearly take a few less classes and really concentrate on bringing the GPA up.
The grades came up the second year to “close” to 3.0, and they thought that was enough to let me try again. Less money they gave, and more money I borrowed. At the same time my sister was entering school making $ even tighter junior year. Another 12k loan that year really pushed the limits to me thinking of just calling it quits and getting a job halfway through.
I decided I wanted to stay in school though so I had to come up with a way to stick it out, so I got a job junior year to help pay for the costs. It wasn’t much, and I still had to live on top ramen and cup o’ noodles. The money I made there went to pay for the first semester my senior year.
Senior year was still very tight for me, a second and third job, and coincidentally when I started looking for references in the outside world. Through my school, I met the person there that eventually would introduce me to the current job I’m in (7 years running) and wouldn’t have met them unless I stayed that final year.
Even though I was 40k deep in loans by the end of it, I’ve actually made a pretty good life for myself and have several new ideas coming up in the future because of the education and contacts I got at school. I’m still sitting at about 23k left to pay off, but with my contacts, and low interest rate, it seems to be dropping pretty quickly.
I was dealt a pretty bum hand financially (lemons) that really blossomed by sticking the nose to the grindstone and just getting it done (lemonade) scraping by on what I could come up with and paying often on the last possibly day to pay bills and dues.