Yesterday I graduated from my Master´s Degree of Business Administration in Marketing and Management in Östersund, Sweden. If I held a speech it would probably be something like this:
The path to this point in my life was a rocky one.
When I was five I wanted to go to school so badly! I was bored of kindergarden and could not wait to join the “big kids” in their school. Because I was a little bit younger than the average (6-7 years old in Bavaria), I had to take an “intelligence” test. The result of the test was that I was intelligent enough (yay, good to know when you are only 5 years old), but a little “lazy” as they said. The reason for this label was that I had to create a ladybug from red and black paper. My ladybug had only 2 black dots on its wings – why should I cut out more?
In primary school we had a pedophobe teacher. (afraid of kids, or at least not very keen on educating kids) She hated me as well as many other kids in my class and told my mom I was dyslexic. At that time in Germany the teacher had the power to decide which level of education the kids should continue with. In Bavaria, Germany we have three levels of education – my teacher proposed me to go to the least academic one.
I ended up in a school where the teachers´ task was mainly to keep the pupils from fighting or taking drugs. I was one of maybe 8 Germans in a class of 30. I did not care about homework and the teachers didn´t either.
In the age of 11 I understood that school mattered. A friend of mine went to boarding school for boys in order to improve his grades and to move to a better school. I liked the idea and convinced my mom to make it happen for me as well. With fundings from my grandma I went to a catholic boarding school for girls.
With the right encouragement from the nuns and a very structured life in boarding school, I became the best student of my class within one year and was able to move to a better school in my hometown.
This school was another catholic girls school – not because we are a very religious family (quite the opposite actually), but because the school was small and saw each pupil as an individual and offered the right stimulation for each of them.
From 10th grade on I went to two different secondary schools, did my Bachelor´s and finally my Master´s degree.
I was the first one in my family to finish a university degree. What made that possible for me was the support from my family and that I did not give up. Sometimes things seem difficult. But if you really want it, you will find a way. It´s not you against the world. There are many people in similar situations, or at least people who understand your situation that will help you. Accept help, stay focused and keep on going.
Teachers and even sometimes your closest friends and family don´t always know what´s best for you. Do not give up! Believe in yourself and prove them wrong!