Monday, October 6, 2014

Comeback Story: PTK President Turns Life Around at Vol State

It's not everyday you get a second chance, but when you do, that next chance can make all the difference.
Ryan Carver knows that lesson all too well. Before being elected president of Phi Theta Kappa — an international honor society for two-year colleges — this year, he flunked out of first attempt at college back in 2010 when he attended Middle Tennessee State University. Without a drive to complete or even attend classes, Carver grew complacent toward his dropping GPA.

All that changed last year after Carver completed his first semester at Vol State. With a strong work ethic and a 4.0 GPA under his belt, Carver turned his academic life around.

Talk about your comeback story.

"During those couple of years, I found a good value in hard work and what it takes to actually get the things you want in life. There's a reason you just don't get things the easy way," Carver said.

Looking back, Carver said taking time to find a strong work ethic instead of jumping straight into college following high school would've been a better decision. It took him a while to realize that sometimes it's just better to wait until you're certain you're ready for the responsibility of a college education.

"The moral of the story should've been to properly withdraw from classes. That's what they tell you to do instead of just not attending class. That's a pretty big lesson to learn so you don't wind up with 30 hours of Fs," he said.

After taking some time to focus on work, saving money, and paying off bills, Carver was ready to get back to school. By the time he arrived at Vol State, his attitude towards education had pulled a complete 180. He found the school's environment more conducive to his studies as he got to spend more time talking to instructors and getting to know his fellow students.

"I started finding these people wanted the same things I do. They may have even been down some of the same roads I've been on. They all have that desire to have a better standing in life, and they want to grow as individuals," he said.

Phi Theta Kappa has played a large role in shaping Carver's outlook on college, and he invites his fellow students to look into it if they are serious about wanting to get the most of their education. The group meets every Wednesday at 7 a.m.

For more information about the Vol State chapter, contact PTK vice president of communications Lindi Boyd at lboyd4@volstate.edu. Visit Phi Theta Kappa's website to learn about the honor society.

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