You see, I am dyslexic ~ only I didn’t know it during elementary school. In grade school, I thought when I couldn’t read well or write well or comprehend well, that I was stupid. And, being told that I wouldn’t amount to anything (imagine some teachers telling me so!) ~ telling I wouldn’t be accepted to a college or if I did, that university would be the one that the sisters at the private school would select for me. Conveniently, the chosen college was run by the same order of sisters as my “convent” school.
So that is exactly what happened: the nuns decided for me that the college I should attend was run by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary in Nashua, New Hampshire ~ an all-girls college. The institution accepted a “slow learner” like me. Actually, in retrospect, I think the sisters were out to recruit me to pledge my life to their religious order. I wasn't even given the chance ~ the opportunity to select a major. I was haphazardly thrown into a Liberal Arts Curricula. To say, I was most miserable with the situation ~ the school, their unreasonable strict rules and the rural town environment (nothing to do for fun) would be an understatement.
After my first year of college, this unhappy (and now) overweight young woman (what else was there to do but eat?) decided to search for a college that she wanted to attend. I wanted to study acting or something more creative. I wanted to study in a large city not somewhere in the outskirts of cold New Hampshire where I spent my freshman year. Granted my SAT scores from high school were poor. Granted I didn’t test well. But I knew what I could do well ~ oral interpretation and acting.
So, I chose the exact opposite of a place to go to college ~ Boston, Massachusetts and I chose Emerson College for oral interpretation and acting. My SATS were so low, I was refused entrance; but I asked (maybe begged) during my interview to read from a script and demonstrate my talent. And, the admissions officer was impressed! I was granted entrance to Emerson on probation. The school gave me my second change to prove myself ~ and I did! I excelled in school because I loved what I was studying ~ I loved the excitement of the city ~ I was given a new tomorrow.
All through my life, I have asked that I not be judged by what is on paper but what I can accomplish. Results-driven, I was given opportunities because I didn’t quit and certain people really believed in me.
I haven’t forgotten the amazing individuals who gave me second chances. I hope you remember those who believed in you too. And it is my wish that you take this challenge to give someone’s tomorrow a second chance. Who knows, they just might make an incredible difference in this world and maybe in your world.