Rebounding From Great Obstacles

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The greatest measure of a person is how they respond to adversity. For me, that moment happened when I got a 8-inch by 11-inch letter in the mail. It was from the University of Georgia and it read something like this…

Hi Mr. Thompson, We regret to inform you…..”

I stopped reading the letter as I got the picture. The University of Georgia had informed me that I would be deferred to regular admission (waitlisted) on my entrance application. Keep in mind, I had planned my entire life to attend UGA. My uncle played football here and I watched UGA sports since I was a kid. That year, I went to informational sessions and took IB school classes to boost my resume. I was even the valedictorian of my class.

None of it worked.

At that point, I thought that I was a complete and utter failure. I became completely down on myself and almost contemplated not applying for any other institution. To be honest with you, I cried like a newborn baby. I am not ashamed to admit it because I let my family, myself and all of my community down.

After about two weeks, I was cleaning my room and saw a picture of my grandmother. She always had a smile on her face, just like in the picture. Instantly, I remembered a conversation I had with her before she passed away.

“She told me to GIVE IT HIM. Cast all your cares upon the Lord because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Admittedly, I needed to hear that message. See, I am a firm believer that God can make anything out of your situation. It is easy to fall down and wallow in depression. It is even easier to blame, disrespect, and tarnish those that are called to help you.

But the biggest accomplishment is how a person GETS UP. This is where you cultivate respect and acknowledgement. The Lord calls all his children to victory and glory. However, he never did say that the road will be problem-free.

So, my Right Before Success moment, was getting re-applying for the University of Georgia. I started by answering the required application essay questions. I also searched for the meaning of my purpose. I determined that I wanted to be a sports journalist and I took the necessary steps to achieve my goals.

All my hard work has paid off. In March of 2013, I was finally accepted into UGA. A few months followed and I was working for the Red and Black newspaper. I followed that up by having three internships, including achieving a dream of going to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

I say all of this show you that a past failure CANNOT derail the journey that God has planned for you. It is what you do at your lowest point that decides your final outcome. I chose to fight through my failure and I hope that you will do the same.

As I close this essay out, remember that life was designed to be hard. However, if you stick to your faith and keep pushing, everything will be granted in your favor.

It is at that point, you will reach your Right Before Success Moment.


Jaylon Thompson is a 4th year digital and broadcast journalism student at the University of Georgia. He is an aspiring sports broadcaster and looking to improve the world through positivity. My goal is to inspire others to achieve success in whatever area they go towards. Everyone has a story and I believe it is my job to let it be known to the world.


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