When I was three and a half years I would pray every night that I could go to school with my big sister who had just started kindergarten. I was sad that I could not go with her. We always did everything together so I could not understand why I could not just go and sit next to her in class.
I cried every day when we dropped her off to school and I told my mother that I was going to school with my sister the very next fall. In the early 1960’s there was not any pre-k or nursery schools that she could have signed me up for to quench my thirst to go to school.
My mother started teaching me kindergarten at home to prepare me for her very bold move of registering me when I was four years old to kindergarten in the school my sister was attending.
The day my mother marched me up to the school for registration was a life changing decision. I got a glimpse of a strong-minded mother trying hard to meet her relentless four-year old’s educational hunger. She was determined to get me into school and finally made a deal with the principal. I had to do well in the first two months or she would have to take me out of kindergarten and start me again in the following September.
Fast forward thirteen years later. I started my college career in community college at 17 years old and became a store manager for Waldenbooks at 18 years old. I was working a full-time job and going to school to earn enough money to transfer to a four-year college.
I put in my applications for various four-year colleges just to see where I stood for the following school year. To my surprise, I was accepted to all of them and I would not be able to commute but have to pay for a dorm in addition to my tuition.
I really had the bug to go away to college and immerse myself in my education, but how was I going to afford it I asked myself. I prayed for answers. Between my own savings and if I took out an educational loan I would be able to make it I concluded.
I quickly applied for a federal loan and it was issued rather quickly. I accepted at a college that was about an hour away from my home. I was a little late to the party (since I was a transfer student) applying for student housing but was told that something would open up for me.
While all these fast pace decisions were being made I kept pushing back this gnawing feeling of uneasiness and discomfort. I decided to ignore what I now know as “intuition” and kept on course to move to my new college.
It was two days until the semester was going to begin, and I still had not been able to acquire a place to live. I even considered commuting, but my parents pointed out that my ride would be a rough one through very deserted areas. My car or so I say my “jalopy” would not be able to sustain a consistent, long distance commute.
I am not a quitter and never had quit anything in my life. I had no other choice but to not attend that semester considering all the circumstances. I had regretted all the time and energy that decision had taken out of me just to end up not attending anyway. I had made a life changing decision unbeknownst to me.
Now, what was I going to do about that student loan check ready to get deposited into my bank account??? I walked into the bank and handed them back the check. They were extremely confused and thrown off kilter. I was told that nobody had ever returned a student loan check to them and they really didn’t know what to do with it! Well I guess they figured it out.
Less than a year later I had moved to NYC working as a Store Manager for the Gap Stores and met the person I have been married to for almost 32 years.
What I learned is that my ability to press on is great, but it does not mean I cannot change my decisions. Changing my decisions for good reasons is not quitting.
Returning the student loan was one of the hardest things I had to do at that time of my life but it definitely set me sailing towards my future. A wonderful husband, three beautiful children and a life that has been more than I could ever wish for!
What decision/s have you made that improved your quality of life that worked out well in the long run??
We are talking #SwitchersRemorse… Did you switch from Verizon Wireless and wished you hadn’t??
Disclosure: As a member of a very cool team of influencers for Verizon Wireless I received compensation to think of this story from my life and write about it.