I screwed around in high school.
All it takes is a look at my report cards. If there was one consistent piece of feedback that teachers gave, it was this: “Is not working to potential.” I found some old report cards recently and was embarrassed by the dismal remarks from my teachers.
Part of my poor performance was due to the number of classes I missed. The final half of my senior year, I had Electronics 3 before lunch and Economics afterwards. I took the various electronics courses to hang out with my friend, Steve and kept getting in way over my head with the content. Economics, on the other hand, was a course I wanted to learn because I saw myself in the business world. Lunch time, however, was for drinking beer and smoking cigarettes in a mutual friend’s VW van. It quickly became a group hang out and the place to party.
There were a lot of skipped Electronics classes so we could start the party early or avoided Econ classes so we could keep going late.
I had ten missed classes one semester in Electronics and nineteen in Economics. When I did show up to Econ, I often wasn’t sober. One afternoon, the prettiest girl in school leaned over and asked, “Are you drunk?” I tried to get her to notice me all year and when she finally did it was because I was liquored up. Well, my hopes for a John Hughes movie moment (think Some Kind of Wonderful) evaporated right then and there.
My parents were solidly middle-class with no savings for my college education. There were no sports scholarships on the horizon as I hadn’t played high school sports, instead preferring to work at Albertson’s so I could earn money to pay for my car and beer.
I knew my options for college were limited. I could either work full time, take out student loans or I could run away from home.
The third option was my best choice.Read More