Fall semester ended and I knew I needed to do better and I was determined. I was going to step it up and shoot for a 4.0 every semester. It was almost Christmas, December 21st, when I got an email from the graduate college…
Subject: Academic Probation Notice
“You are receiving this notice of being placed on Academic Probation if your term and/or cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 and/or if you have earned a UR grade for this term.” Receipt of another C in any course will result in dismissal from the program.
My heart was already full of disappointment in myself, but now the consequences were real. I didn’t tell anyone that I was on academic probation. I didn’t want people to see me as a failure, and I didn’t anyone to think it was for lack of trying. I told people close to me that I had one C, but that I wouldn’t be kicked out until I had three, which clearly was only half true.
I had learned my lesson and I drew back from working at Walmart. My new rule was that I would not allow myself to work more than 20 hours a week, unless class or school was cancelled. I couldn’t afford to quit, but I also needed to set boundaries for myself. I needed the extra income, because the Library just helped me get by and I wouldn’t have been able to save without Walmart. I know some people still thought I was crazy for working 40 hours, but it was something that I felt had to be done. Me being me, I also picked up extra shifts when available, I just couldn’t help myself. I like money.
I had become the Vice President of the Black Graduate Student Association and we were in the midst of planning a colloquium that kept me busy, my best friend was on the road to becoming a different woman and our relationship became very estranged, and I was working my ass off in school everyday. Seriously, I was in office hours anytime I didn’t understand something, asking classmates for help (something I didn’t often do), and I studying at work as much as possible.
This semester was just as trying as the first but in different ways, because I was estranged from my best friend, I held a lot of personal dramas inside, which I know is unhealthy, but is also hard to stop. I recognize that I don’t trust easily and so my information gets spread across different friends, but this semester, I kept it all inside, which ended up being one of the worst things I could have done for our relationship.
I worked my ass off in every class and by the end of the semester, I was confident that I was going to come out on top in my classes, but I’ll be honest, my friendship almost ended. If we hadn’t both been able to step back and be mature enough to find a solution, I’m not sure that my friendship would have made it into the summer.
I won’t get into the details of that situation, but it taught me so much about myself. When I find people that I can trust, I tend to cling to them in an unhealthy way. While we were going through our struggle I had gotten to a point where I felt that I was going to be okay if she left & I have never been secure enough in myself to be able to say, let alone feel that way. I was proud of myself and the growth.
All of this was solved within two weeks of school ending and I thank God, for listening to me and answering my prayers because I still have my best friend today and our relationship is more beautiful than ever.
Shortly after school ended, I got my final grades, and honestly was more proud of myself, academically, than ever before. I had taken on 16 hours again, and finished the semester with 4 As, 2 B’s, and no C’s and I’m pretty sure I cried. High school and undergrad came easy to me, but graduate school was another ballgame and tested me in more ways than ever before.
I felt like this semester was so important and needed to be shared with you all. For me, it showed me so much about myself and I hope you are able to take something away from it as well.
You can always make a comeback, even when other parts of your life are trying. You are strong enough and with a little help from God, you can do it. There isn’t a prouder feeling.