I want to take a break from Trump to share a personal story. I hope it is interpreted not in a light of tooting my own horn, but in a light of inspiring others to reach for their goals.
Growing up, I hated school. And I don’t use the word hate lightly. It was a struggle. I had undiagnosed ADHD and it tore my attention span to shreds and turned my temper up to 11. I had no patience for teachers, schoolwork and my peers. I still regret some of my more embarrassing behavior and self-destructive antics because it hurt so many people, including myself.
With the exception of a few classes and exceptional teachers, this relationship to academics continued through college. I felt grateful to have the opportunity to go to school, but exhausted and frustrated by the process of completing it. My grades were bad. Nevertheless, I graduated on time.
I began to see the benefits of my education when I entered the workforce. I noticed that the critical thinking skills I was taught in college were serving me well, even when I was unemployed or underemployed. After finding steady work, I realized that a master’s degree could greatly benefit me and with encouragement from my then-girlfriend, now wife, I took a GRE course and applied to some schools.
Fast forward two years and I’ll be graduating this coming spring. I was incredible humbled to have some of my original research accepted into a conference that I will be presenting at next month. Never in a million years did I think I would accomplish this in my life.
Academics and I were oil and water for the longest time. If I can overcome a terrible academic past to presenting original research at a conference, you can do anything you put your mind to.