Bounce Back: "The Andrea Shoe"

“I'm sorry, Franchesca. The results of the test scores indicate that you need more practice. A big part of getting into a good college depends on your test scores." My school counselor tries to ease the pain by telling me I still have time to get a tutor to improve my scores. The truth is, my family doesn’t have the money to pay for a private tutor. I’m starting to feel like all hope is lost.

“Hey, Fran,” yells Bria from down the hall. “Want to walk down to the cafe together for lunch?” “I’ll meet you down there,” I respond. “Still have something I need to finish up.”

I walk into the girls bathroom and close myself in the last stall. I begin to cry silently. My life sucks...How am I going to pass this test?! I’ve been studying my butt off and no matter how hard I work, nothing gives!! I should just give up on my college dreams…

My phone vibrates as a text comes through. I pull it out of my back pocket to read it:

Hi Franchesca. Thank you for helping my son this quarter with his school work. His grades have improved a lot! I know it required more time than you expected, but your support has really helped him. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done. Keep being the role model you are for our kids. They look up to you and love you!

I start to cry again, but this time I am crying of happiness and frustration. Happiness because I helped someone improve their academic performance. Frustration because I now feel obligated to do everything in my power to improve my test scores. You can do this, Fran, I keep telling myself.

The next three weeks, I had my nose in practice test books, doubled up my study time, and took free online practice tests. I took the test again and this time the results came back with drastically improved scores.

Now, I’m a college graduate with my Masters degree and everytime I think back on that day when I wanted to give up on my “college dreams,” I laugh!

Let’s be honest - most of the time we are over dramatic about things going on in our lives. We make life and death matters out of little situations. 90% of the time, nothing has taken place yet; we’ve just created this enormous issue in our minds and we always default to think the worst. Somehow, we think that dwelling over the situation is going to solve the problem or make it better.

But it never does. In fact, it makes it worse. We waste time and energy, and resolve nothing.

The truth is that life will throw you blows that appear to be extremely difficult to overcome. You get knocked down and cry in the moment - maybe a couple of hours, or sometimes days. But when it’s over and you're telling someone your story, you'll laugh about it, wondering why you ever believed it was impossible to bounce back!

**Fictitious names are used in this post to maintain privacy. 

Each post is named after a pair of "fictitious" (for now) shoes. For this post, I chose the name "Andrea," which means strong, resilient.