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Pablo and Life Changing Events

Life Changing EventsWhat is a life changing event? We all have experienced life changing events of one kind or another at some time in our lives. For some people it can be getting married , having children or living through a major accident. There are many of these things that we live through and when we look back on them , we realize that our lives changed forever. This story is about one of mine that occurred when I was 17 and trying to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

Life Changing Events – High School

I was in grade 12 in high school. This is typically the time when teens are deciding if they will go to university , college or try to find a job once they graduate from school. It can be a scary time and an exciting time for many.  Without really realizing it, you are deciding what you will do for the rest of your life, or at least set yourself on a course that will profoundly impact your lifestyle, your friends, your education and your future family although that is the last thing that many of us were thinking about.

In my case, I had good marks and was eligible to apply for and be accepted for university. My problem was that I did not have the money to attend university. My parents provided well for us. We never lacked for food and clothing, but extra money for university courses, books and a room with meals was out of the question. I had pretty much realized that I was destined to find a job when I graduated and that would be my life!

A Meeting With my Guidance Counselor

Well it seemed that fate, luck or just plain good work by my guidance counselor totally changed my life. He called me into the office one day and began one of those conversations that all teens hate. What are you planning to do with the rest of your life and what about going to university?  The answer was simple. I did not have the money to go and could not afford it.

He wanted to know what I was good at in school and what I liked. he already knew the answers to these questions, but wanted me to say them and think about them. The answer was math, physics and science. But what good are these going to do you when you look for a job in a small town with few job opportunities.

The Family Farm

I was destined to take over the family farm, since I was the oldest boy in the family.  My brother was faced with an even more uncertain future since if I took over the farm, what would he do with his life.

So my guidance counselor said to me, what about going to the University of Waterloo. They have a co-op program which means that you go to school for 4 months, then they find you a job for 4 months and then you head back to school. it takes an extra year to graduate! Five years instead of four years. However you have earned money, you have gained work experience in your profession and you have a good chance of having a job when you graduate with one of the companies you worked with. All of these things are huge benefits to people like me without enough money to go to university.

Can You Afford One Term

His next question to me was, did I have enough money to afford the first term?  Could I pay for tuition, books and room and board and last until my first paycheck? I had a part-time job and had saved a bit of money. I said that I felt that I could do that although I would be totally broke when I finished my first term.  Based on this single conversation I decided to give it a try. I saved as much money as I could, I applied for student loans and I continued working on the weekends while I went to university to make a enough money.  It is a long story, but I made it and graduated as a professional engineer in Canada!


This wonderful story is not over. One of the things that I believe you should do is to recognize the people who have made a huge influence on your life. I did that about 30 years later, by going back to my home town  and talking to my old guidance counselor. He made a huge difference in my life and he deserved to know about what had become of me.

I knocked on his door one spring morning and he came to the door. Not only did he recognize me, he knew my name and welcomed me into his home. I met his wife and had a beer with him and told him the story of how he changed my life and what a great impact he had on me. Believe it or not we all had a good cry, it was so emotional.

His wife was so proud of him as I was and it made such a profound impact on him! I stayed for about an hour and then left promising to come back another time. I have not done that but I think I will now that I have written this particular true story.

Recognize Those People in Your Life That Made a Difference

This is what I mean when I say that there are singular events that can change your life for ever. I was extremely fortunate to have met this man and for him to have such a significant impact on my life! My brother took over the family farm and loves the work and the outdoor life. Everything worked out unbelievably great for everyone. Take the time to let those people in your life that have made a difference. They will treasure the recognition!

For more life changing events and other stories, click here.

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One Response to “Pablo and Life Changing Events”

  1. Pete Passive Says:

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