Making Peace With My Past – I

It’s not a secret that I despised college. I never thought about writing about it before since there was hardly anything nice to say.

That changed once I decided to read Michelle Obama’s Autobiography titled,


In the first half of her book she brushed us through her family background. This particular sentence stood out for me

“My grandfather lived with the bitter residue of his own dashed dreams”

She talked about visiting her grandfather from her Dad’s side. She tells us how he always yelled at his wife. We only really understood why her grandfather was the way he was through understanding his context.

The Great Chicago Migration

Her grandfather being an African American residing in Chicago was denied many opportunities. Once such opportunity was to attend college. Instead he had to pick up a job as an electrician which wasn’t a high end one that could help him save up for his childrens.

The Issue of the Union Card

To work in Chicago the African Americans needed a Union card which obviously being black chances were he never got one. He mostly ended up doing was short term projects.

The Piled up anger

Furious to witness the white folks getting jobs he was qualified far, made him bitter.

This stifled him as he couldn’t save up as much as he wished to send his children to start a better life.

” But my grandfather would remain unable to see his children’s accomplishments as any sort of extension of his.”

Michelle Obama

Despite these challenges, his four kids ended up doing great things. One of them got a Harvard Business School Degree, the other two became a train conductor and an engineer respectively. His daughter worked in an Creative Advertising agency and then decided to dedicate the time teaching the youth at pre school.

My own Bitter College Experience

Looking at this, I reflected that this is most definitely
someone I would never want to end up like.

I resonated earlier with that statement, “My grandfather lived with the bitter residue of his own dashed dreams”

I had a bitter experience with college. And I most certainly would never want to use that as an excuse to why I haven’t achieved my dreams.

Lectures hardly happened, teachers were busy completing their ‘portions’, classes occurred at erratic times which is fine when you have multiple lectures in a day which we never had.

Our career counselor made us feel ‘shit’ about ourselves, for not knowing our path in life, recommending the obvious jobs in the media field( I was a media student).

I felt demotivated and deeply unhappy.

It took me 9 months to make peace with all this. As Mark Twain famously said,

“Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education.”

This ‘meme’ basically sums up college life in general. You always need to educate yourself.

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