Sometimes, I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. Sometimes, there’s just no middle ground. When I find myself in those situations, there only one option, that saying that people love to share, “go big or go home.”
When I found myself unemployed in the middle of January on Cape Cod, probably one of the hardest times ever to find a hospitality job, I was at quite the crossroads. I believe John Mayer (before he went all weird) called it “a quarter life crisis” and almost rightfully so. You’re at that point in your 20s when reality sets in and you realize that eventually you aren’t going to be able to keep living the lifestyle you were living. And now, newly unemployed, the reality that you aren’t a little kid any more start to really sink in.
After spending a little time on unemployment and applying for jobs that weren’t really available until the summer sun brought the summer tourists, I decided to go back to school and finish my degree. It wasn’t a hard decision really. It was just I needed to get out of my house and get my mind occupied with things other than daytime television and movies.
UMass Dartmouth had recently begun offering satellite courses at the community college and I figured, what the heck. I signed up for a class on Moby Dick. Yes – you read that right. An entire course devoted to the Great White Whale. I had read it once before but not really because when I was assigned the course I was going through quite a bit of nonsense so I never really read it the way I should have. This course was something that would help me hopefully kick the pity party that was occupying my time and help me get started on a new path.
The first class approached and I was a ball of nerves. What if I forgot how to write a paper. What if I couldn’t be a good contributor to class discussions? What if I didn’t make any new friends? Yeah – my brain just started spiraling into that crazy place it so likes to visit and send postcards from.
I got into the class and found it was like riding a bike, or like rowing a boat. Once you know how to do it, you never really forget. I quickly found my stride again and it was then that I decided, I needed to get an A. I mean, why be in a class like this if I wasn’t going to get an A? Go big or go home right?
That A led to a semester of three courses, which lead to transcripts being brought, enrollment forms filled out, and two years of classes. As I got working through the courses, I figured, why not see how high I could get the GPA. Again, if I was going to do this, I might as well do it the best I could. I busted my butt, because during that time, I got a full-time job. So juggling a 40 hour work week and a full-time school schedule, I wanted to make sure that nothing suffered.
I sometimes feel like I’m bragging (and if I am, sorry!) but darn it, this was my go big moment!! I managed to graduate Magna Cum Laude, with highest honors, and it was just as I hoped it would be. If I had done a little better in a couple of my core requirement classes…but it didn’t matter. I graduated with that distinction behind my name. That was my goal. That was what I wanted.
There are other examples of going big but I have to be honest, that one is my favorite. I’m sure when I decide to go back to school for my Master’s, it will be the same.
This post is part of the March NaBloPoMo. This month’s theme is Risk. Today’s prompt was “Discuss your experience with the saying, “go big or go home.” What is one thing you needed to go big on? Were you able to cut it?