As you may have noticed, I’m on a financial kick lately. If you really think about it, when can you ever in your life not be mindful of finances? Money is a part of our lives every.single.day. I read The Millionaire Next Door when I was younger and just recently re-read it. The principles are solid. Millionaires are those that have a lot of money but don’t necessarily “appear” rich. It lead me to another book in the series, The Next Millionaire Next Door which was written by the original author’s daughter after her father’s unexpected death in a car accident. This book highlights that indicators of success and potential wealth were two traits:
Resilience and Perseverance
(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
(of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
For some reason, it made me want to share this C story about my time as a freshman in college when a teacher told me I had a learning disability.
My first semester in college, I was incorrectly enrolled in Math 1241 which at my school was Calculus I. If you notice on the image of my actual transcript, I had already received Advanced Placement (AP) credit for the class along with the next class, Calculus II. When I told the counselor at registration that I didn’t need to take the class, they blew me off and said that was the highest math I could enroll in my first semester as a freshman (this is wrong).
So not knowing any better, I begrudgingly went to class day after day. The teacher was a grad student. We fought over her methods and she already didn’t care for me for arguing with her. When I got back my first test, she gave me a D. She said that I didn’t solve the problems correctly even though I had. She told me that she watched me take my test and could tell I was slow. Because I had a learning disability (according to her), I should visit our disability services department at school to ask for more time during tests.
I was shocked. I went to my engineering professor and told him the story. He immediately looked up my account and said, why are you in that class? You’ve already placed out of it and the next one!
He set up an appointment with my math teacher, her boss – the math dean, and me. We walked across campus together and discussed what happened. My math teacher sat there and argued that I should still take the class for my benefit knowing she’d just destroy my grade.
My engineering professor insisted I be taken out of the class immediately even though it would result in a permanent Withdrawal (W) on my transcript. At the time, I was so young and had just started college. I didn’t know what was happening but I knew to trust my engineering professor over that math teacher.
The next semester, I was the only freshman in my differential equations math class. I had the highest average all semester and was able to exempt out of my final exam because my grade was so high. I then went on to graduate with a 4.0 GPA in mechanical engineering.
I was heavily involved in an engineering mentoring program and I told this story to every underclassman I mentored. It’s amazing how one bad scenario could have impacted my entire college experience so much because it happened so early. I could have gotten discouraged. I could have felt inadequate. I was already one of the few females in engineering school. I could have felt out of place and quit school. So much could have happened to have one teacher stand so strongly against me.
Thankfully, I had support from my engineering professor who was also my Statics teacher later in engineering school. He saw what was happening and he made sure I wasn’t impacted permanently.
Now I look back at that transcript and see how insignificant that W is but how glaring it would be to get a D for a class that I had already passed?
It’s a weird story but it reminds me of being resilient. For those that have not had conflict or difficulties in life don’t get to flex this muscle much. I think this is a trait that serves well not just in financial aspects but work, life, and relationships. How you recover from adversity may be more important than the actual adversity itself.