In January 2015, I almost got kicked out of school! After the academic probation letter, I had just ONE semester to prove to the school that I should not be kicked out. How did things get to this point?
The truth is, from the onset, I was not getting stellar grades in the university. I was sort of average. My advisor had described my grades as “being all over the place” prior to the ultimate warning. Sometimes you need a wakeup call to remind you that you can, and should do better. The wake-up call for me was the Fall 2014 result that showed 3Ds and 1C, and the probation letter that followed shortly after. In retrospect, it is easy to see how I got to that point: following the crowd, skipping classes, studying just hours before an exam, skipping midterms (tests), not finding out what worked for me, partying excessively; in a nutshell, misplaced priorities!
I was so scared of how my parents would react that I contemplated lying about my grades. But what if I got caught? The chances of them finding out were low (well, that’s what I thought then), but I couldn’t bring myself to lie to them, and I actually felt a lot better after telling them the truth. My father’s words were simple: “Young lady, am I sending you tuition or a ticket home?”
Making a 360
Over the 2014 Christmas holidays, I took some alone time to reflect on all that had gone wrong. It was easy to blame my failure on the weather (school just didn’t work for me in the fall), but I realized I had to tell myself the truth. The cause of failure is not always some external factor. Sometimes, you are the cause of your failure. I needed to sit up in my studies. A lot of things had to change. Going forward, school became a priority, and I spent a greater fraction of my time shuttling between classes and the library. The partying drastically reduced. I learned not to follow the crowd. I stopped skipping classes and took all my midterms. When I realized that I fared better in evening classes than in morning classes, I opted for evening classes. In addition to these, I joined an investment club, tutored first year students, spent time volunteering at different organizations whenever I could, and did a paid internship to gain experience.
Experiences can either shape you or break you.
Although I try to live a regret-free life, I may jump at an opportunity to re-live fall, 2014. I guess what hurts the most is that I knew better and did not have to learn through experience. I already knew the importance of hard work, discipline, setting priorities. But, somehow I still made poor grades in school.
I often cringe when I see a job opening that requires transcripts as a part of the application package. My transcript is not lined with straight A’s, and expectedly, not all recruiters are interested in an explanation. ‘Reject- Next!’: that is a possibility that I have to deal with (for now). However, my experience inspires me to improve on myself and be the best version of me.
So, what lessons did I learn?
- Never give up
- Constantly seek to improve yourself
- Learn from your experiences
- Be yourself
- Be focused- There is a time for everything!
As much as I hated the outcome of fall 2014, I am very grateful for who I have become as a result of that experience. By the way, I am happy to say that in my last semester of school, I made 5 As. It just goes to prove that if we focus and work hard, we can rise above our failure. I hope you enjoyed this post and learnt a thing or two from my experience.
Talk some other time,