Lola was flipping pages as the clock ticked by, fully sucked into and enticed by her new book when it happened. The distant buzz interrupted the words being spoken in her mind, the same words that were plastered on the crusty old page she had her gaze locked onto, ripping her out of her fantastical daze and back into reality. Lola reached for her phone and swiped into the Snapchat notification.
The photo with a caption sent from her sister, Sabrina, saddened her. It was like her heart was sinking, no, like it was drowning, into a vast open space of pure darkness. If Sabrina wasn’t going to care, Lola would. She took a deep breath before repeating the words on the screen in her head. I just failed my english test. I’m not gonna graduate because of it.
Whoever is reading this might think that Lola was saddened because of the fact that Sabrina might not graduate, which was true, but...
It was more than that. The fact that Sabrina didn’t possess the ability to be able to open her eyes. To be able to see that it wasn’t her english teacher’s fault, the school’s fault, or her brain’s fault.
It was her lack of motivation and care for going to school. It was her lack of even showing up in the first place and doing the work assigned to her.
It had hit Sabrina as soon as second semester and new classes started — why try?
The question sparked in her brain and was like an electric buzz in her veins. Like she knew everything and didn’t need anyone. She could practically feel the light bulb beaming above her head.
As much as her family members cared and offered constant help, Sabrina would always snap and reassure them that they shouldn’t worry. That she would graduate. That she had everything handled.
The unexpected plot twist: she didn’t.
Well, unexpected to Sabrina, at least.
Her family saw it coming from a mile away.
They pried her to go to class. She wouldn’t.
They pried her to do her work. She wouldn’t.
They pried her to talk to them. She wouldn’t.
They pried her to at least try to enjoy school, try to be motivated. She wouldn’t.
No matter what they did, she refused to listen. She assured them she had full control, when in reality her grip was loosening on the reins.
She was beginning to slip off the railings.
She was uncontrollably falling, like her shoe was already stuck in place.
So, yes, reading that text stung. It stung bad, because Lola and her family tried to warn Sabrina.
Sabrina was fully convinced that it was not her fault. Lola had always wondered what was with this generation’s lack of ability to take responsibility for their actions, and this was just another one of those examples for her. Sabrina kept blaming people around her for her fall. Her english teacher, she claimed, was “bad and everyone thought so.” Her school, she complained, was “horrible and boring.” Her school work, she cried, was “hard and impossible.”
But the problem wasn’t her english class or her school or her work — it was Sabrina’s lack of motivation, care, effort, participation, and getting up after she fell. The lack of all of these important aspects led her to her ultimate worst decision:
To just give up.
To not give effort.
To not go to class (which she had missed countless times, hence her failing).
It led her to fall into this pit she can’t dig herself out of.
But to dig yourself out of a pit, you have to get up again.
You have to realize that getting up is easy, and that moving forward is the tough part.
You have to take responsibility for your mistakes and move on.
You have to realize that the walls you’ve created are the same ones you can tear down.
You have to use the opportunities around you.
You have to give effort.
You have to ignore the dread and fear of failing to fully rise.
You have to accept that you can’t do everything on your own, and get help from the ones who care.
You have to try.
It’s never too late to learn a lesson and meet the deserved consequences, but you have to remember that the lesson and the consequences are for your benefit, not your disadvantage.
They allow you to learn, and they allow you to grow.
If you never forget that, you will rise above it all and gain your control back.
The choice is yours:
Will you learn and grow, or will you refuse and give up?