Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 – Failures

Name: Mohammad Ajwad Ashraf




defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound,
rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal
(Napoleon Hill).” My name is Mohammad Ajwad Ashraf and I took a gap
year. I was advised by multiple sources that taking a gap year is one
of the worst decisions and how I shouldn’t do it. However, I would
kindly disagree with everyone because taking a gap year was the best
decision I’ve ever made. In Fall 2017, I received five thousand
dollars of financial aid for the entire 2017-2018 school year, and I
even took the first step in becoming a full-time student while taking
twelve credits. However, I hated the idea of waking up and going to
school. I simply just wanted to make money. Even though my family is
very strict on education, I completely betrayed their trust by
dropping out without consulting with any of my family members. I did
it only to make money. I was succeeding at my job as an optician and
also managed to receive two promotions in less than a year. I created
a flawless plan that would help me make six figures without having to
go to school. Unfortunately, that plan was flawed. As a
nineteen-year-old my imagination led me to believe lies and I
believed them to an extent. Quite frankly, I thought I was succeeding
in life, but in reality, I was only failing myself. I failed multiple
times because of confusion and addiction.

of the biggest reasons I dropped out was because I was confused about
my major. I originally wanted to do optometry because of job security
with myeyedr. Unfortunately, I wasn’t passionate about doing a lot
of science work. Thus, for myself to be a science major I wasn’t
excited about going to school and that only led to confusion within
myself. In addition, I also didn’t want to get a bad grade in one
of my classes because of the lack of passion I possessed within
myself. Since I wasn’t passionate about being a science major, I
didn’t know exactly what to do with my life besides making money.
Making money by selling was the only thing I thought I was good at
which eventually led to two job offers from Under Armor and ABB in
marketing. However, they both required a bachelor’s degree. Even
though I wasn’t passionate about returning to school, I wanted a
better future for myself. However, I was obsessed over my short-term
and not my long-term future. That was also one of my bigger mistakes.
I decided to go back to school for one semester and pay out of pocket
just to test the water. I went to go see the counselor and she said I
have to take Integrated English and Writing (IERW 001) in fall 2018
as a pre-requisite before I could move forward in order to take more
serious classes. That got me even more annoyed, but I still decided
to try it out. However, my work ethic for school was completely lost
and I lost faith in school after only attending the first two days. I
thought my teacher was unbearable, so I decided to skip her classes.
I skipped probably five classes and showed up late every other day
because I didn’t care. Karen Basuel, my English professor was very
annoyed by my behavior and decided to chat with me in her office. I
thought the idea of us sitting down in one room can only lead to bad
things and to an extent it was very bad. Luckily, the meeting was
actually very productive, but I failed to realize that in that
moment. At the end of the meeting she gave me an ultimatum and said,
“if you skip or show up to my class late one more time, I will be
forced to fail you.” I accepted her deal and moved forward. By
doing so, she gave me a chance to make up all the missed work and I
had missed a ton already! As a man of my words I never skipped or
showed up to her class late again. I was in my chair three minutes
before the class started every day. However, I still lacked
motivation which led to failure in completing my assignments because
I was still confused about going to school as a full-time student.

second failure I faced was my addiction to alcohol. I partied a lot
and abused alcohol over the summer 2018 because I wanted to enjoy my
life to the fullest. I was having a lot of fun and fun comes with a
lot of prices which I had to learn the hard way. I knew my priorities
were succeeding in school and at work even though I hated it. I
decided to stop drinking alcohol and started going to the gym. I
figured at least the gym will keep me occupied and healthy physically
and mentally. However, nothing was making me happy since I stopped
drinking and I didn’t feel comfortable with my personality,
behavior, and overall just myself. I fell in love with who I was when
I was drunk and not who I was sober leading to depression, which was
one of the reasons I skipped and showed up late to IERW 001. I became
very depressed even though I was doing all the right things and at
one point I even considered suicide because I can’t run away from
myself. For some time, I thought suicide was the only option.
Luckily, I spoke to my mom about my depression and she quickly
enrolled me into seeing a psychiatrist, Sasha. Sasha was able to
really understand my pain and suggested that I might have ADHD. She
referred me to a neurologist where they tested me positive for ADHD
and Bipolar Depression. The doctor said that I’ve always had ADHD
and Bipolar depression, but it was very minimal, so it never affected
me on an everyday basis. Whenever I did drink, it made me feel good
about myself and helped take away my stress which relaxed me. My
drinking also made my ADHD severe and visible. I was prescribed
Wellbutrin and Adderall immediately. Before I started medication, it
was almost mid-terms and I still had an E in my IERW 001. Only a week
after taking my medication, I felt like myself again. I was able to
enjoy myself sober and didn’t feel the need to drink at all. I
earned my first B in an assignment which was my mid-term. I gained
some confidence, but by that time, I had way too many assignments due
and I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to start and started
feeling the side effects of my medications and started getting panic
attacks. I was hospitalized for a day and the doctor suggested I am
stressing myself over just school when there are other people in this
world facing problems of life and death. That really helped ease my
burden and I found a way to start on all my assignments. I asked the
professor for extra time and she approved it which made me feel
better. She gave me a week before the final exam to turn in all my
assignments and extra credits. I would stay at the library until ten
pm and go home and stay up for another two hours, so I could finish
my assignments on time. Just the week before my assignments were due,
I had a fever of hundred and three degrees, and everything felt
impossible again. But I kept pushing because I couldn’t fail
myself. Thus, I was able to turn in all my assignments on time. The
following week we had prepared for the finals and our assignment was
to revise the two previous essays we wrote in class and submit the
final essay alongside, preparing for an in-class final. Then, I faced
another barrier during my final’s week; gum infection and the pain
was ruthless to the point I couldn’t even eat food. My mom had to
buy nutrients that I could drink because I couldn’t eat. However, I
came such a long way and I couldn’t fail myself now. The blessing
that I saw in those times of pain was the improvements I made as a
writer just by attending the class. When I was revising my essays, I
saw the first essay I wrote, and I couldn’t believe that I got a C
on it compared to the last essay I wrote. I steadily made
improvements without realizing and I ended up re-writing my first
essay entirely. That was the biggest blessing I saw because It showed
me that I fell in love with improvements and not the course itself.
Even if I failed that course, I would’ve been okay because I found
what I loved about school. That one semester showed me that even if I
hate the course it doesn’t matter because It improves me as a
student and as an individual. My addiction helped me finish IERW 001
with a B.

failure led to my success. The best thing I could’ve ever done was
fail. I took a gap year, I was confused about my major, I was
addicted to alcohol, I was depressed, I was diagnosed with ADHD and
Bipolar depression, I was hospitalized, I had a fever of hundred and
three degrees, I had a gum infection which made me lose thirteen
pounds in a week, and if I had the option of doing it all again, I
would. Quite frankly, I am awaiting my next failure no matter my
mental or physical well-being because I know it will teach me
something valuable and help me become a better individual. I learned
so many valuable lessons in just one semester that could’ve taken a
whole life time. For instance, I always thought I didn’t have the
passion for school, but in reality, I just never had confidence in
myself for school. The fact that I knew I could improve myself as an
individual in any class I took made me want to take three in spring
2019. I didn’t have the money because of so many medical bills, but
my mom helped me pay it off. At the end of spring 2019 I finished
with straight A’s for the first time in my life. My current GPA is
3.80 only because I failed.. I plan to be successful now by using all
the resources around me such as the math center, my professor during
office hours and emailing them if I have any questions. Now that I
know how to be successful in school, I plan on doing that. I now know
homework is a big help and turning that in helps a lot, so I plan on
finishing all my homework on time. I am obsessed with learning, so I
read books that will help me in that class and with my major. Again,
my financial dispendious shouldn’t be the reason I can’t learn. I
plan on being better by doing better. I will do better by following
these rules for success.

defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound,
rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal
(Napoleon Hill).” Hill is saying that if you fail, understand that
you have an opportunity to learn and succeed. Never give up! I am
Mohammad Ashraf and I failed.