In high school, I was told I wouldn’t go to my dream college due to my average test scores. Nothing else mattered apparently. It was all about those darn scores.
I had two high school counselors: Miss A (the cool counselor) and Miss B (the not-so-cool counselor).
Miss A was the first. She was always encouraging, positive, and honest. For some reason, the school decided to switch how students were assigned to a specific counselor, and I was stuck with Miss B. I had one session with Miss B, and it was my last.
During my junior year, I came to Miss B for college guidance. She went through my extracurricular activities, my grades, and my standardized test scores. Her response:
“With these scores, you couldn’t even go to Georgia Perimeter College.”
For out-of-state readers, Georgia has many notable colleges like Georgia Tech, UGA, and Emory. They were pretty much the god-tier of Georgia colleges for rising seniors like me. Emory was my dream college. To Miss B, I wouldn’t be accepted to a decent public college like Georgia Perimeter.
Out of all the things I could do as a high school student, those accursed standardized test scores determined my entire life. I had 16–18 (don’t remember exactly) on the ACT and about 1400 out of 2400 on the SAT.
Geez, I didn’t fail at life.
Miss B went on and on about my test scores. She compared them to the AP students she worshiped in our school. I’m not those students, I’m me.
After my dreadful evening with Miss B, I made special reservations to continue my sessions with Miss A.
For someone like me, especially as a young, hardworking African-American girl, it was painful to be told I couldn’t fulfill my academic goals.
But that was okay. I left Miss B with her judgment as I moved on with I did best: taking action. No, I didn’t storm into Miss B’s office, flipped the bird at her numerous times, and declared how wrong she was. I continued to do well as a student and submitted my college applications.
Instead of Emory, I was admitted to Oglethorpe University, a small, private liberal arts college. Funny to say, Oglethorpe was my last choice because I thought it was a boring school. I ended up loving it.
I didn’t have to be a 5.0, sleep-deprived AP student to succeed, I applied as myself. I even wrote my college essay on The DaVinci Code.
Later, I moved on to Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) for grad school. I graduated from there with flying colors. You see, action!
Bump the Haters
There were other ways naysayers tried to stop me. People doubted I could lose weight through a strict diet and daily exercise. In a few years, I went from extra large down to small.
Online, a random Florida college student told my little 9th-grade self to cut my fingers and die because he didn’t like my Lord of the Rings fanfiction. Guess who’s still writing? It has taken me to many sweet positions, and I’m not going to stop for any troll.
Despite what haters had to say, I turned the other cheek and acted. That was my ultimate “f@$% you!”
Do you have big goals?
People will tell you to go the other way. Do your thing no matter how long it takes. Keep making progress.
Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Don’t forget to lift yourself up too.
Remind yourself daily of your dreams. Keep going until they manifest into your reality. That’s how you truly f#$% them all.