Rolling with the Punches
Hands holding a tire with a hole in it
By Maggie Sweppy
October 29, 2018

Let me tell you about my weekend. After competing at a livestock judging contest, (which is an exhausting process, but we’ll talk about that in a later blog post) I stayed the night with my friend who lived in the area. She showed me around her college town and we had a great time. I had homework due the next day, and LOTS of laundry to do, so we planned on leaving early to get back to Illinois on time.

The first sign that this was going to be a challenging day was when her car didn’t start and we had to jump it. No big deal. We were a little behind but got on the road soon enough. Then about 15 minutes into our 2-hour trip, we heard a weird noise and, after sharing a concerned glance when the noise intensified ̶ much louder and much more alarming ̶ we pulled over to find a flat tire. Despite that fact that neither of us has ever changed a tire (I know I know it’s a life skill we need to learn) we were confident we could handle this. We unloaded the spare doughnut tire out of the truck only to discover that the jack was not there. So we had to call her brother. When he arrived, the parts he brought didn’t work, so we had to ride back with him to get the right ones. Finally we got back to her car ̶ with the right parts ̶ and even though the ground was almost too soft for the jack to work, we were able to get the spare tire on and head back to her house where we switched out cars with her mom (who feels confident enough to drive on the interstate with a doughnut? Not us) As we backed out of the drive, she turned a little too sharp and the front end of the truck hit the side of her brother’s car…that he had owned for a day. Don’t worry, we think it should buff out. Needless to say, we drove VERY carefully on the way back. We planned on being back by 2 or 3 and we weren’t back until 7.

Plans rarely work out the way we intend. There’s a reason the saying “Things that can go wrong will go wrong” is so well known. That’s just a part of life and it’s out of our control. But what we can control is our attitude. Throughout this frustrating day, my friend and I laughed way more than we ever huffed and puffed about how life isn’t fair. As the semester continues and the content of your classes intensifies, remember that while work and preparation are crucial, even when you do everything right, things will go wrong. It’s way more fun to laugh it off than it is to huff and puff.