In 1972, at the end of my sophomore year in college, I sat in our kitchen at home with my parents and announced that I wanted to step away from college for a year. I had joined a fraternity and was having more fun than the law ought to allow, I was not going to class very regularly (they just seemed to be so time consuming), and I realized that wasting my parents’ hard-earned money was not a good thing on a wide variety of levels. It was a fully thought-out, mature decision.
My mother wouldn’t hear of it. She said, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit,” and that, as they say, was that. I returned to Chapel Hill in the fall.
My reaction to the situation was an immature one, though. I thought, “If they don’t respect me enough to take my decision into consideration I’ll just have a large time.” I did exactly that for the next two years, didn’t graduate on schedule, stopped out of college for 4 years and came back and graduated in '79.
That kitchen conversation was 40 years ago and I still think my original decision was correct and would have led to a more mature outlook on life.
I have a wonderful quote on the bulletin board in my kitchen, “By all means consider your feelings, but be guided by your judgment.”
Most of the time we truly do know what’s best for us. Having the courage to fight through our impulses, fears, unrealistic dreams and what other people (even those who love us) think can be so difficult that, at times, we’re paralyzed when trying to make a decision…and the bigger the decision the more powerful the paralysis.
There’s a decision floating out there that you have to make, isn’t there? What do you know is the right thing to do?