Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Never Surrender (Even When it's Seriously Hard Work!)

As part of the celebrations for the release of Elana Johnson's SURRENDER, I'm posting about a time I did not surrender!

As Theresa Milstein pointed out, in real life where we don't have heroic battles to fight, our 'never surrender' moments come from simply refusing to give up when confronted with life's day to day struggles. Heck, even getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle for me! (Well, it is dark and cold in the mornings now, so it's understandable, right?!)

But I've been thinking over the things I've been through in life, and I don't think there has ever been a time where I have striven so single-mindedly, had such a definite and clear goal, as in my matric year at school. Sheesh, I had NO life that year! I had always done well at school, so obviously I decided that I needed to get an A in every one of my subjects (how's that for an attempt at over-achievement?! Ha!). So, yeah. I had almost no life and worked REALLY, REALLY hard. I still look back and marvel at the amount of dedication I had ... (it didn't quite carry through to university!)

I did not surrender to exhaustion or stress, and I got there!

And now I've decided this post is a good excuse to unearth some old(ish) photos from my matric year.

The one and only school photo of me that isn't completely hideous!

Matric class of 2003 :-)

Matric dance. I'm not sure how my date would feel having his face plastered on this blog, so, yeah.
One of my awesome friends made me a calendar for every day while we were writing finals. Every day I got to open a little window and there was a chocolate with a message attached to it. Super cool :-) (And I saved every single message!)

Congratulations, Elana, on the release of SURRENDER!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think any of us carried that dedication into college, at least not the first year.

Rachel Morgan said...

Actually, I think my first year was the best year (in terms of study dedication)! Okay, the FIRST HALF of first year. Then I met a guy. And everything went downhill until I moved universities!

Anonymous said...

That is a great calendar. What a friend.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the calendar idea - what a great friend!! :)

I've never heard of a matric year before. I'm assuming it's the final year of high school?

Libby said...

Good for you! I was a super nerd freshman year and loved it. Then I found beer...

Michael Di Gesu said...

Straight A's is certainly not an easy achievement. That does take a lot of time and dedication. But YOU MADE IT!

What a great friend... Chocolate every day. YUMMMMM!

What fun pics!

Jeremy Bates said...

I've found that when I want something bad enough there's nothing short of death that will stop me. If, on the other hand, it's just a whim, then I don't mind blowing it off.

Good for you. The only thing different about the pics is that your hair seems somewhat longer. lol

Rachel Morgan said...

Joshua - My mom has a fridge magnet that says, "There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate." :-)

Jemi - Oh yes, sorry. In South Africa the final year is called matric. Or just Grade 12 :-)

Libby - I still don't like beer! To me, it's like coffee. Smells better than it tastes ;)

Michael - Glad you liked the pics!

Jeremy - So you think I still look 18? Woohoo! ;)

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Stopping by from the blogfest...I didn't know what a matric year was either. Great post - thanks for sharing!

Cally Jackson said...

I was pretty crazy in my final year of high school too. Thanks for sharing the pics - I love seeing old photos. Great idea for a blog celebration - a time you did not surrender. I might have a think about that one. :-)

Elana Johnson said...

Sometimes we just get something into our minds, and we can't let go. That's when we don't give up, exactly how you didn't in college. Thanks for sharing!

DL Hammons said...

I coasted through high school (existing on mostly B's), so college was a major culture shock for me! I made it though...eight years and half a dozen major changes later. :)

Great story!

Julia King said...

I sure wasn't dedicated in college. I just wanted out. I'm not a sit in a classroom kind of gal though. But I made it, got my degree, and now am writing. I find myself far more motivated with writing than I ever felt with college. It is my love.

Cograts to Elana, too!