I have had two instances that were extremely similar in my life time, once in high school and once in college. I believe that they were meant to inspire me and push me to do better things and in some ways they did, though the words that were spoken have stayed with me all of my life and caused a tinge of resentment that I can’t seem to forget.

When I was in high school, I took as many Advanced Placement, or AP, courses as possible to try and look good to colleges. This included AP Biology which I absolutely dreaded. I loved the content and material, but the course was dull, the professor was more dull, and the text book was a fine-print ramble of information. I struggled to pay attention in class, I put the homework off until the last minute, and I didn’t study for tests until the evening before. Though I managed to score A’s on every test and had the highest score on the AP final exam, the professor told me that I would never be successful in what I wanted to do due to my attitude about things. I hadn’t thought I had been outward in expressing my feelings on the class and I had always tried to be polite, but I imagine that I only hid so much.

The same thing happened to me in college chemistry. Though I performed quite well through intro chemistry (and would later shine in organic chemistry and biochemistry), I struggled with the main chemistry course. The material was intangible, the labs did not apply, and I just could not find a way to apply the material to anything in my life. So, once again, I did as little as I could in the class to perform well. Despite finishing with a good grade, the professor told me that I didn’t stand a chance of getting into vet school without a solid understanding of chemistry, which I clearly did not have nor desire to have. Despite the way I viewed the class, I truly looked up to the professor prior to this comment and enjoyed the life experiences he shared with us on a daily basis. To hear these words come from him crushed me. I remember second guessing if this was what I was meant to do.

But I did it anyway.

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