The Get Up: My Right Before Success Moment

By Jaylon Thompson

“I know you been hurt by someone else….”– Take Care X Drake 

In 2013, these lyrics painted an accurate depiction of what was my life. As the base hit and the beat dropped, the smooth voice of Rihanna seemed so therapeutic. We have all been there before and I was definitely IN MY FEELINGS.

I hadn’t lost my girlfriend or a large sum of money. My fantasy team didn’t lose and I didn’t fail a test that I spent nearly two weeks trying to pass.

No, this was worse. I didn’t get into my beloved University of Georgia on the first try (Early Action portion). 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…..”

20151004_110249I stopped reading the letter as I got the message. 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 coAfter 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. I contemplated not applying for any other institution.  I also cried like a newborn baby. To be honest with you, I am not ashamed to admit it because I let my family, myself and all of my community down.

“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.

The greatest measure of a person is how they respond to adversity. 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 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.


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