March 4, 2012

Slice of Life Challenge: Failing in Order to Succeed

Note: This is a continuation from yesterday's post. For a long time, I was ashamed of this story but not anymore. I feel that it is an important slice to share and hope that it will help others that have/will go through the same thing.

I don't care what you think or what people may tell you, college is no easy adjustment. Like a lot of people I came in with the wrong mindset, thinking that high school and the college classes I've already taken were easy for me, then the next four years will be too. WRONG!! 

I went from a small sized high school, where the largest classroom had roughly twenty-five students (give-or-take), to a state university with at least two-hundred people in my lecture hall. In that type of setting it's easy for a person to get lost in the crowd. Plus, this was the first time I had taken a course entirely online where I was in charge of my own learning. Like I said, quite the adjustment.

The first couple weeks weren't so bad, mostly because what we were discussing was review. But once the new material started, woo doggies was I in trouble...especially in those online courses. As the semester went on my grades just kept falling, I didn't know what to do. Most of my school life before I had gotten A's & B's, but by midterm I was sporting two D's and a C-. 

By the end of the semester I had two B's, two F's and a D, giving me a GPA of 1.4 (not my proudest moment). I remember the day I found out, I woke-up at five o'clock in the morning to check. As the page loaded I hoped, prayed and pleaded but obviously with no such luck. I was extremely disappointed in myself and internalized everything (just what I do) so my parents wouldn't find out. However, you can never hide anything from Mom. 

A few days had gone past, by this time I was pretty much living in my room, only leaving if absolutely necessary. My mother had came home from work early and barged in my room, slamming a piece of paper with my grades on the desk yelling, "WHAT IS THIS?!?!"

I couldn't form any words and just began to sob. I had let myself down and most of all my family. When I finally gained back some control, I told her everything: how I lost track of due dates, the material got over my head and I couldn't find my way back up, how my homesickness affected me and how I didn't manage my time well. 

This is where I have to give credit to my paremts, instead of yelling and punishing me (thinking I was doing it well enough to myself) they were there asking why didn't I ask for help right away and what I/they could do to improve next semester's grades. They listened to me criticize myself and talked me out of quitting by reminding me I had come this far and that I was not the first (nor the last) to be going through this. 

With each succeeding semester I improved little by little, so much so that the last four semesters I have made the Dean's List. What I'm trying to say is if you are currently in college or plan on going to college, know that you will eventually find your stride if you keep trying. And if you do have problems, tell somebody (don't keep it in like I did). As the old saying goes, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again."