This past weekend I attended a college graduation. It had all the normal speakers and pomp. Sitting in the crowd one couldn't help but remember their own college memories. The speaker was talking about life lessons and what to take away from your college experience.
One of the biggest lessons came 3 weeks into my freshman year. We had to write a paper for English Class. Five pages, three weeks in. It had something to do with religion and government. I had the impression I was a good writer. Coming from a High School where English and Creative Writing came easy. (High School was easy)
Walking into my Professors office I was utmost confident. I thought he would start by saying something like, "I really enjoyed your paper, you have a real style to your writing..." You get the picture. Sitting down, he flips the paper towards me and I see nothing but bright red marks.
"I didn't get past the first couple paragraphs, before I put this away."
I was in shock. I had never failed anything. NEVER. I'm not even sure how long the office visit was, I don't remember, I just remember the last words he said. "I expect more from you."
Looking back on the situation, it was probably the best thing to happen to me. It woke me up out of my arrogant attitude. I had been able to coast by with minimal effort. It shocked my system to understand this was a new situation requiring new effort levels.
"I expect more from you." Some powerful words. I left with the resolve to prove that this wouldn't be empty words.
Sometimes the worse moments and failures can be the thing you need the most. One of my college "highlights."