You Can’t

I’ve shared plenty of sweet remembrance on this blog and my memoir “All I See Is Green”. The truth is my journey to getting my degree has been bittersweet. With just a few semesters left I am reminded of student debt, the need for employment, and many other crucial life choices I need to make. It’s a feeling reminiscent of high school graduation. You can choose to graduate or continue. You can choose to move out or stay home, get married or adventure, just like Game of Life. This post goes out to everyone faced with those decisions right now.

adult blur books close up
Photo by Pixabay on

It was Sunday before classes started my sophomore year. I was on the bus overhearing a conversation between two clearly new students. They had ridden the bus all the way to South Campus and back, and were convincing themselves it would eventually stop at Rensch Villas (which it would not because they were on the completely wrong bus route). I asked where they were going and offered some help. One of the students asked what year I was. I told him, and he said that I wouldn’t know anything. He said his older brother went to UB so he knew the bus routes. I chuckled, nodded, and got off the bus.

Another college joke from Meme Generator.

There are countless stories similar to this one I could have told. I could tell you about lost parents on campus who won’t trust my directions because I’m not an Orientation Leader, people who don’t want my advice because of my GPA, students who don’t want my help because I can’t solve the problem fast enough, or even coworkers who question my ability to do my job because I’m a teenage African-American female engineer. It doesn’t hurt my feelings anymore. What hurts is when someone does want my advice, but they tell me they aren’t good enough, or that they’re too young, or too inexperienced.

Yale University, where I didn’t go to school. Picture from College Raptor.

Don’t let someone tell you, “You can’t”.  Many things in life have shown me that anything is possible regardless of age or grades or experience. Perhaps it’s just a positive outlook that got me to where I am. I don’t know everything, and for the most part I struggle to give proper advice because I don’t feel adequate. But this one thing I am sure of: You can.

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