I’m going to write about a situation that happened when I was 16.
I was just your average girl going to school trying to make my way through. I excelled, or at least I like to try to think I did.
Nah, who am I kidding. I got by. My aim was always an A grade for excellent, but I think I sometimes went too fast on some of my math quizzes.
My dear teacher caught onto this and would look me in the eye and smile while correcting me. I’d get frustrated with myself and try to apologize to him. He would tell me not to worry and tried to make sure my mistakes didn’t make me want to stop learning.
I’m still so thankful to him.
But I’ve already written a post about him because he was my favorite teacher.
Regardless this little ditty has to do with how information on a casual day at school changed my life.
Figure it out. Figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, well then I suggest you find a way to figure it out.
Point A to Point B, Julie. Get there. I’m trying! Stick with me!
So here is the story is how my guidance counselor changed my life:
I’m a high school junior on the swim team. I am the class president and in advanced math classes.
I’m working my summers at the theme park at the main gate.
I spend my free time hanging out with friends on the quad lunch area during our 10:15a break.
I’m the scorekeeper at basketball games.
One day, I’m sitting in math class and I get called by someone who says I had an appointment with Dr. C who is our school guidance counselor.
My first thought was that I was in trouble for something I had done wrong.
Instead, I walk into a small office with a scattered desk and the nicest smiling person you could ask for.
He asks me, “So, Julie, have you thought about where you are going to go to university?”
“Um, no,” I mutter.
“Well you know,” he tells me, “junior year is when you take your SAT tests and next year you are going to have to get your applications in.”
”Have you got your applications?”
I’m like, “What?”
He says, “Well, have you thought about private or public university?”
I knew my parents weren’t going to pay for my university so that left if anything, public or state funded.
Then Dr. C hands me two packets that were California State University applications. He explained that there were two state systems: the California State University group and the University of California group. Each group had about 20 campuses in different cities.
He gave me the examples. And a map. And a packet.
What changed my life about that conversation is that I was now empowered with information — information that was life changing.
I read the packet front to back.
I went back to class and asked my friend if he knew that it was time to take SAT tests and apply to university. Of course he knew.
I sat for my SATS. Get it? That’s a pun ;)
The exams were difficult. I should have studied harder for them. That’s okay.
Then came summertime. I decided to go visit some universities on my own.
I chose four. I got in my car and off I went — alone of all things.
I visited Humbolt, Berkeley, San Louis Obispo, and San Francisco State. On another trip I visited San Diego State University, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara State University.
I chose San Jose State University mostly because I liked the feel and I loved the old Ivy Bell Tower. Also, there was a well known journalism and marketing program — the only specialization in marketing at that time.
Northern California is cool too. Shout out to my no cal friends.
So that’s my story today. Not too big of one, just a little one. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just saying that today I’m grateful that I was called into a meeting with a counselor who gave me information that later handed me a future.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for stopping in. You know I appreciate it.
Also I would like you to know I paid my way through University working part time jobs. I am proud of that because I met a lot of students whose parents were paying.
Pay it Forward
I’d like to know what your experience has been. Did you go to University? Have you ever met by chance a person who offereed you information that changed the course of your life? Did you find that going to a university or not made a difference to you? Do you think this information could be valuable to any high school students that you know? Can you copy it for them and send them a link? Please leave your comment here or share. Thanks.