When I was 16, I got a concussion which made me a hard worker. I know – sounds weird, but humour me and imagine for a second:
It’s an evening in June after you’ve spent all day at high school being confused by trigonometry once again, and you’re on the soccer field practicing with your team. The sun is setting, the grass was freshly cut that day, and you can hear children at the park in the distance. Can you feel that light spring breeze? Well, as we were practicing, the setting sun became less of a beauty and more of an annoyance, causing us to squint to be able to see. We were practicing controlling the ball out of the air, when all of a sudden – WACK! Out of nowhere a soccer ball hits my arm, which I was using to block the sun, into my head. I can still hear the sound of my bones colliding. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I got my first concussion.
It wasn’t just the resulting pain that affected me, it was the inability to process things as quickly as before and losing my extensive vocabulary. I didn’t suffer from retrograde amnesia when I got hit, but I basically damaged my ability to process. I had to relearn how to learn. I had to spend more time and effort to understand things in school, and high school wasn’t the easy breeze it was before.
I used to have a very extensive vocabulary, and I loved learning new words, but after my concussion there were words I couldn’t recognize anymore, and didn’t remember what they meant no matter how many times I googled them. Some were more difficult like lackadaisical, haphazardly, or benevolent, but some were as simple as tight, icicle, or specialist. To this day, I have a list of words on my phone that I struggle with. Through this experience, I learned to work for the things I wanted. I had to dedicate time and persevere more in the remaining 2 years of high school than I did in all my years of school before that. I learned to find the good in the bad, and strengthened my drive and determination for what I want in life.