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.

7 responses to “You Can’t”

  1. Interesting post! What makes an expert? The most experienced one in the room according to law courts. I remember working as a cleaner even though I was a qualified graphic designer. I never judge people definitely by their images or qualifications.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like a famous Disney Fairy once said: Just believe! Believing creates worlds of possibilities….far more than some education!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I know I sound happy-go-lucky here. I don’t mean to look down on education with this post. Education is a necessity. But if you have the know-how to get the job you want and you let negative thoughts get in the way, not believing in yourself can hold you back.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not just getting a job, but getting anything! 😊


  3. Oh, I just loved this. I wanted to laugh at times, because some of the situations you faced are so familiar to me. Alright people, clearly you know better than I do. I really did laugh at your meme with the Republican group. That was a sort of sarcastic laugh, though. At the end, I felt appreciative. I had no self-assurance back then. Everything I did was wrong, and all of my choices would lead to a life of hell, poverty, and paying off a wasted time. What really happened, though, was that I learned what college set out to teach me. Life is what you make it, and if you don’t make it for yourself, someone else will. Oh, and even if you are a complete rock-star without college, I know I would not have been. I might have managed a decent career, but college taught me to think. Great blog post. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you agree! As a student I honestly have to stop myself from thinking that far ahead (poverty, desperation, joblessness) and just focus on now. And about the last thing, I’m with you. I’m in school solving math problems because I wouldn’t make any money on the streets. I look too nerdy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, too nerdy! I AM too nerdy and have no idea how I became a firefighter. It is the right job for me, even though I studied geophysics. Pays better too, though they did hire me because I had a degree. They didn’t care what I studied, as long as I had the paper that showed I stuck with something long enough to complete it.

        Liked by 1 person

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