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All They Can Say Is No

All They Can Say Is No

I posted something on social media the other day. It was a post with words. I usually don't get a lot of engagement with those kinds of posts but this one resonated with people for whatever reason. It read "If you don't ask, the answer is always no." This is a principle I have lived by for a long time. Here is what started this mindset.

Picture this, Sicily 1932. LOL! No, actually it was College Park, MD, April 2002. I'm all set to graduate with my baccalaureate degree in General Biology in May 2002 when I received a letter in the mail that totally knocked the wind out of my sail. Basically, the letter said that I would not be able to walk because I was short one credit. ONE! CREDIT! Ok. I get it. I wouldn't receive my degree on that day but to say I can't even walk. I felt that was a bit much. Imagine finding this out in April.

One month before graduation. I had to walk. HAD TO! All of my family had already made arrangements to come in town for my graduation. My parents had planned a huge celebration. This couldn't be life. So, I put my thinking cap on and went to talk to my "counselor".
In December 2001, I had a serious car accident that resulted in me having to postpone taking my finals for the fall semester. Which resulted in my not doing so hot on one of my science finals. I was already on thin ice for this class, so I ended up with a D instead of the C I would've probably gotten had I taken the final a scheduled. That class just so happened to be in the category of laboratory science classes that I needed to graduate, resulting in me being short one credit. I was devastated but not defeated. I asked what I could do to get this one credit, so that I could walk. The counselor did not seem optimistic but all I could do was give it my best shot.
Believe it or not, after all of that, this wasn't even my degree. It was a picture of the "M" 🙄


First, I had to get the registrar's office to approve late registration for a one credit "independent laboratory study class", THEN I had to find a professor who would be willing to read a paper on the research I was doing at my part time job as a research assistant at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and grade it with a C or better. Easy breezy, right? Well, it ended up working out but it was stressful as heyall! I had to call on my Emmy award winning acting talents to convince the registrar's office, showing up with pictures of my mangled car, discharge papers from the ICU and, of course, eyes full of tears. It worked. I was registered for a one credit laboratory class in the proper category.

The most stressful part was finding a professor who would read a paper and grade it. Shouldn't have been too hard, I mean University of Maryland College Park had at LEAST 200 faculty in the Life Sciences department alone. I could find one who would do that for me. All I needed was one yes. Just one. One professor who would do a solid for a mediocre, not so memorable student they had never met before. *sigh* That was the reality I was facing but all they could say is "No", right? I would never know what they would say if I didn't ask. And besides, I only needed one "Yes." So, I started emailing. And emailing. And emailing. I emailed every. single. professor. at UMCP's department of Life Sciences. Every last one of them. All of them said no, except for one. And that's all I needed was one yes. I wrote the paper, got an A, not only walked in my graduation but actually finished that chapter of my undergraduate studies on time. Barely. But I did it.

How a Transfusion Services Supervisor's desk looks. LOL!

I went on to get a second bachelor degree, a master's degree and become a certified specialist in my field. My career goal was to become a laboratory manager. I hit that goal by the time I was 29. How? I reluctantly took a job at the American Red Cross after I graduated from the National Institutes of Health's Specialist in Blood Bank program. I loved what I did but I hated the work environment. One evening, after a I had a disagreement with my immediate supervisor, I went online looking for a new job. I saw the position for a Blood Bank Supervisor. They wanted someone with managerial experience. I had just finished school, so I didn't have that. I applied anyway. What's the worse that could happen? All they can do is say "no". They didn't though. They took a chance on me and EYE was able to leave that god awful work environment I hated.

I have a few friends who thanked me for giving them the same advice when they were applying for graduate and professional school." Just apply. So what if your scores aren't where they recommend. All they can say is no. You only need one yes anyway." They took my advice and BOOM! They were admitted and right back on track to hitting their goals. Ok, you applied to 10 graduate programs and got rejected from 9. Go to the one who accepted you. Duh! LOL!

You will not die if you get told no. I mean, your feelings may be hurt but you will not physically perish and cease to exist. So, stop being afraid of hearing it. Shoot your shot. The worst thing that could happen is you get rejected. So what!!! Brush yourself off. Figure out why you were rejected. Improve. Try again or go somewhere else and try. However, if they say yes.....EVERYONE wins. But if you never ask, if you never try, the answer will always be "no". And you'll probably always be wondering "What if I had gone for it?"

MORAL: Life is way too short to live with regret. Just do it. If it works out, it was meant to be. If it doesn't, Jehovah definitely has something better in store for you. Trust.


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