Sometimes, the second string quarterback is the most important player on the team. The assistant to the regional manager needed. Your iPhone crashes and you don’t have a backup on your computer. When your original forces have been broken you need some reinforcements, or you’re going to completely crumble. This is a very important life lesson, one that I think many overlook when perceiving the future.
I had a perfect plan. I had a formulated response to any inquiry a family member, friend, or complete stranger had about my future. I was going to go to the United States Naval Academy and major in Political Science, and upon completion I was going to go to flight school and fly fighter jets for the Navy. I used to sit in the backseat of the family car on the way from church pretending to pull levers, program the computer, and shoot those German bastards out of the sky (I have quite the World War Two obsession, but we’ll get to that another day.) Although the school has roughly a 10% acceptance rate, I felt I was going to be guaranteed a spot. I had never really been rejected for something based on my credentials, assuming 8th grade relationships don’t count.
It was until very late in my senior year of high school that the admissions office decided to tell me I was not accepted. This left me with no time to explore other schools before making my decision. I badly want(ed) out of close proximity to my home, but I had not formulated a back up plan. I was so sure of myself that I was seemingly assured nothing could happen to me. I go to school 15 minutes from home. Just what I wanted.
I’m not writing this to receive sympathy. Quite frankly, I don’t want to hear your shit about how only the spoiled brats get in or how they made some grave mistake. They didn’t. They were right. I’m writing this in hopes that people, kids especially will understand the magnitude of assumptions and how incorrect assumptions can turn your entire life around. You’ve got to work for the things you want. I didn’t. I sat back comfortably, thinking my mediocre physical prowess was good enough- thinking that I got good enough grades even though they weren’t all A’s. NO ONE IS GUARANTEED ANYTHING. I promise you that fact.
No matter how good you think you are, no matter how set on a plan you are, no matter what- always have a backup.
You’ll never know when you need it.