Failures that turned to success.

One could say that my entire learning career has been filled with failures, especially if you were to look at my high school and college career. Many people started off believing in me and my capabilities, but once I started down the wrong path it seemed that all of those supported turned their backs on me.

In high school I was a troubled student with an absentee parent at home, so I turned to friends and the wrong scene to cope. I would skip school, go out on weeknights, and usually not come home for days at a time. This led myself and my sister in to trouble, although they were different kinds.

My sister ended up becoming pregnant at the age of 17, while I was a freshman in high school. She ended up living at home for a semester before heading off to college, at the time what that meant for me was dealing with a crying baby at night that I hadn’t asked for. This is really when school became difficult for me, if I would even make it to school I was tired, irritable, and frustrated with a situation that I hadn’t asked to be put in.

Through out this whole process one teacher never lost hope in me and chose to see past the walls and attitude I put up in class. He believed in me, worked with me, and tried to understand the situation I was in. I excelled in his class because he believed in me as a student and more importantly as a person. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how big of an impact this teacher had on me until my recent “adult” years. With out his guidance, love, and understanding I don’t think that I would be as great at making relationships with students who need it the most.

My biggest failure and success in learning has been my nephew. As I touched on earlier, I was in a situation as a teenager that unfortunately only brought out selfishness in me. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved my nephew, but when I was 16 I was more concerned about getting sleep and partying then babysitting and getting woke up multiple times a night. From the time I was 16 probably until I graduated high school I was very selfish, I was really only concerned about my life and how I was going to enjoy it. When I moved to Lincoln for my first shot at college that’s when things really changed. I moved in with my sister and nephew, and he truly changed my life so much, and for the better. I truly became the second parent in the household to my nephew, and that’s when I started to learn to put my own ego, wants, and necessities aside for a human that I loved so fiercely. Never in my life had I been able to do that for any other person, but like I said. He changed me in to a much more mature, loving, and kind person.

One of the toughest decisions of my life was to move out of Lincoln to Scottsbluff to follow my now husband out here. I had to leave a life I had built, my comfort zone, and most importantly my nephew. The first few months were what I would call a failure. I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t even know how to start making them, and all I did was work and go to school. Before I had started at the community college here in town, I had tried college twice before and quit. I had tried community college and quit because I didn’t like it. I had tried massage therapy school and quit because I knew that would not fulfill my need in life. When I started at WNCC, there were SO many times I wanted and tried to quit. My husband always pushed me, help me, and listened to me when I needed it. With out his love, guidance, and willing to push me I would not have gotten my associates degree and I would not be in my junior year at Chadron. He helped me grow in to the learner that I currently am. I have changed the way I deal and cope with adversity. Instead of giving up and throwing in the towel, I now rise the occasion and tackle the challenge head on.





Photo CC – By: wistechcollegesimg_19821477899923_5fb736f33c_z.jpg

Photo CC-By: Ben Russell



6 thoughts on “Failures that turned to success.

  1. mollyecarrollblog says:

    Hello Hillary,
    I think it is so great that one of your teachers acted as your mentor in high school, and helped you see that you can succeed when given the proper support. I don’t think that having priorities of a teenager make you selfish. You were thrown into a adult situation without guidance from another adult. I am happy for you that your nephew had become such a motivating force in you education. Your husband sounds like a great support system to push you through to meet you goals. My question is what made you decide to go into education after your previous attempts? Has your ideal career path always been to work with children?


    • hillarybollish says:

      To be honest teaching had never and was never on my radar until I moved out to Scottsbluff. When I moved out to here I got a job at Bluffs Middle School. After working there for about 6 months I realized how much I loved working with kids. I loved making relationships with them, and I really loved to try and get to those kids that everybody else had a hard time with. Also, later on I realized that my teacher, Mr. Grupe, really had much more of an impact in my decision in wanting to teach. I think that part of the style of teaching that I want to implement from my classroom I gained from him. Also, I think my background in not having as stable as a background helps me understand and relate to the “troubled” students, which I feel like helps with cultivating sincere relationships with these students. But, basically, after working with students at the middle school level I realized my passion for working with kids & have never changed my mind about wanting to teach!



  2. 2shaye says:

    How wonderful to have such a great teacher there to believe in your and encourage you. I love hearing stories like this. Your teenage experiences have done exactly what they were supposed to — made you a better person, today. Thanks for sharing!


  3. timmikeisel says:

    I absolutely loved reading about your life, and I especially like how you wrote about failures. I don’t think we can truly succeed in life unless we fail, and admitting failure is one of the hardest things that we can do. Teachers have such a huge impact on students’ lives, and I think that is something incredible about being a teacher. We will have the opportunity to make students see their true worth and build their confidence. I think the we as teachers can teach about the importance of failure as well!


    • hillarybollish says:

      I agree, I think that failures truly lead to living and leading a successful life, I believe that failures are life’s greatest lessons. Yes, teachers spend such a great amount of time with students they do have a lot of impact on students perspectives, self worth, and how they problem solve. I’m so excited to be able to hopefully positively impact students in the future.


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