171: How to Bounce Back When Life Gives You Lemons

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We’ve all heard this quote and even used it in our essays countless times: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But what happens when real tragedy strikes? Understandably, sometimes it’s a struggle to see a silver lining when life throws curveballs at you. But I will tell you this; it’s crucial that you adapt as quickly as possible and look on the bright side instead of making pointless complaints. I see no point in whining about missed opportunities, past mistakes, and being upset when things do not go our way. Instead of focusing on the “lemons,” change your mindset and focus on all the things you can do to salvage the situation. As a first-generation college graduate, I’ve learned that many different roads can lead to success. The world is full of opportunities; you just have to look a little harder than the rest. 

Tetnika’s Journey Into Entrepreneurship – 06:20

As a first-gen, the last thing that comes to mind when you join college is that poor grades might mean being placed on academic probation. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t work out, and some students face possible dismissals from school. Further, once parents are notified of potential dismissals, they often turn from being the go-to person to making matters worse. The fear of letting her parents down and the embarrassment among her peers made Tetnika decide against telling anyone about her sudden predicament. With that, she enrolled in a local community college, took up a technical course, and became a licensed manicurist. 

Years later, Tetnika formed a non-profit that ran a project where people would donate prom dresses for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. She also taught the girls how to take care of their nails and the essence of simple etiquette. Although she positively impacted the community, her organization was a non-profit and thus rarely made any money. After careful thought and research, she came up with a small business venture, ‘Cutie Pie Pampering Mobile Spa Party,’ an event planning company specializing in modern, stylish, and unique Spa Parties.

So, no matter what obstacles life throws at you, we all can turn life’s lemons into lemonades. Tetnika’s semester out of school might have been a tough pill to swallow, yet her decision to make the most out of her situation is what gave birth to her entrepreneurial journey. 

How Upbringing Shapes the Spirit of Entrepreneurship – 14:18

For the most part, life’s experiences tend to mold people into what they become in future. Hence the analogy that a childhood filled with adversity would teach someone specific lessons that come in handy when tackling the real world. Interestingly, some of the most successful entrepreneurs aren’t the ones who are being driven by external factors such as money or luxury. They are the ones that want to make the world a better place than they found it. For Tetnika, her low-income background taught her the adaptability to handle everything that life throws at her. The fact that things were not handed to her on a silver platter meant that she had to figure out stuff independently and pivot her whole life. 

It’s Okay to Ask for Help – 17:26

Unlike students whose parents have earned a degree, first-generation college students often see college as a way to ‘bring honor to their families.’ Unfortunately, the lack of institutional history in their families and knowledge of higher education can heavily impact their college journey. Things like why go to college and take it seriously, how to prepare, what to expect, and how to succeed are things first-gens rarely get their hands on. This, in turn, gives birth to the idea of wanting to do everything by themselves. While such an independent mindset can be beneficial in some cases, it often leads to instability in others. The thing to note here is that although you see the need to tackle everything on your own, you cannot do everything by yourself. It is okay to reach out to mentors, peers, professors, and anyone willing to assist you in whatever situation you are going through. 

Modern-day Etiquette – 20:35

We live in a time where unacceptable behavior makes headlines every day. In fact, individual freedom and self-expression are held with higher regard than following rules of common courtesy. Although the customary code has evolved in line with current times, your behavior is your personal brand. According to the Oxford English dictionary, etiquette is defined as the standard code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. So, are you the kind of person people admire, respect, and want to be around? Tetnika believes that being the best in school will open many closed doors, but what keeps you inside is determined by how you interact with other people.