Success is the most powerful revenge. We live in a world where people thrive off other's failures. It kills me to say that, but there is far more truth in that statement than most. Whether it is being bullied, being told you are not good enough, or just being belittled by someone else; all can be overpowered by your success. I know each and every one of you can think of a time you were torn down and wanted to quit; it's human nature. So you do not feel alone, I am going to tell you a little story about me proving people wrong and I hope you get something out of this.
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Everything I am about to tell you began in third grade when my mother was brought in to speak to my teacher because of my poor scores on our Terra Nova's tests (for those who do not know, they were standardized tests each student took at Catholic schools from grades 3-7). I was doing decent on homework and in class, but my test scores were horrendous. Obviously at that age, I did not know any better, but this trend continued throughout grade school and it was beating me down because of how hard I tried, without getting anything in return. This is the backbone behind the rest of my life thus far, so I will touch back on this shortly.
Remember above when I mentioned bullies? Well, imagine a chubby little girl, with glasses, braces, scary eyebrows, who was in band? That was me and I am sure you can only imagine how that went. I would go home and cry because of how mean people were. Luckily, it taught me how to be a decent human being and stand up for people-- including myself.
Little Katie in 5th gradeI am not saying being bullied was a positive experience, but I made something out of it. The reason I am telling you this is because I took a negative experience, and made it positive. This is how I decided to live my life as a young girl and continue to do so. This is how I want you to live your life because in the end, it is all worth it. I can tell you from personal experience. And so my story continues:
Seventh grade changed my life forever. Now let's start off with saying that I have never been the "smartest" person in my classes. I studied for hours and still struggled to receive decent grades. Over time I have learned to work with this and have developed strong study skills, but at the time, it was inevitable for me to struggle.
My grade school principal told my mom that I was not smart enough to be accepted into the high school I wanted and maybe I should reconsider. It was a catholic college preparatory high school, with a lot to offer. When I heard this, it destroyed me. But luckily, instead of it letting hurt me, I pushed myself harder than ever before and brought my grades up as best I could. The following year, it was time for the entrance exam and I was absolutely terrified. Remember in third grade when I was told I was a poor standardized test taker? Well, that never changed and there I was, taking a standardized test for the high school I was already I told I was not smart enough to get in to.
A few months of waiting went by and then I received a very large package in the mail. I was accepted. I proved my principal wrong and was smart enough to get into that high school. The statement that was supposed to bring my confidence down (okay, it did a little), helped me achieve what I wanted most.
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Skip a few years to senior year of high school. I had already been accepted into a few different colleges. I had my mind set on one college in particular where science was a very popular major. I decided that I wanted to be a health science major, which is essentially like a biology major with less labs and more chemistry. After I decided, I informed a few people, but I was told, "I was not 'fit' to be a science major." Not fit? What did that even mean? You're going to make me prove you all wrong again?
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One of my professors told me to change my major my freshman year because it was clear I was struggling some. I refused to quit. Once again, instead of letting it hurt me, I needed to prove them wrong, and that is what I did.
Well, four years later I am finishing my final class as a science student and will have my bachelor's degree this December. Now, I am not saying it was easy; I cried a lot, I wanted to quit, but I kept going. With all this being said, I have also been accepted into two graduate programs. The twelve year old girl who was told she was not smart enough to get into the high school of her choice will hold a bachelor's of science, an MBA, and an MPH by the age of 25.
So why am I telling you all this? To show that regardless of what people have told you, they do not decide your future. You do. You want to do better in school, you study more (and as someone who has always struggled, I know it is easier said than done, but it is possible). Take someones negative comments, and use them as ammo for success. Life is all about the journey, we have to fight uphill battles and bumps in the road to get where we want to go. When it is all said and done, we can look back and feel pride in what we have accomplished. We will look at how much will-power and strength it took to get there. You are shaped by what you have done and accomplished. If everything was easy, it would not be worth it. I know this all sounds cliché, but it is true. Keep fighting your battles, you will win.