I was finally able to finish registering for next semester's classes last night. I had a bit of a problem with my GPA at UNO, so I had to prove myself, basically.

It turned out that the School of Communication (which encompasses my Journalism major) requires a minimum 2.25 GPA to sign up for its classes, of which I was unaware. The advisor I spoke with a month ago forgot about this little snippet of information.

What's that? My GPA? 1.5.

My college career got off to a pretty good start, you may be surprised to know. After my first year at Youngstown State, I had a 3.0. I followed that up with a pretty decent semester at UNO, and then the wheels began to fall off. After an aborted stint at Iowa, followed by numerous classes, first at UNO, and then Metro, that I registered for, paid for, and then stopped going to midway through (without withdrawing), my GPA sort of plummeted. Go figure.

The bottom line was that I shouldn't have been in school during those years. I didn't care about it. My heart wasn't in it, and I'm one of those people who, you know, if I don't care about something, I really don't care. But I kept trying to go to school. Because it was expected of me. Because I didn't want to let my parents down (which, of course, I did every time I stopped going to a class).

So, yes, all this led to a 1.5 GPA and no direction in life.

I was directed to one of the heads of the department on Tuesday, and we played voice mail tag until yesterday morning. I explained to her my situation, that I started off college pretty well, then fell into this sort of malaise (for a number of years), but that I'm actually serious about school this time, that I'm paying attention in class, and getting good grades.

This woman, Dr. Wilson, she liked what she was hearing, but, of course, couldn't just take my word for it all, so she wanted me to get a hold of my professors and have them send her a note about my current grades and demeanor in class. You know, how I'm getting along, what kind of student I am, things like that. So began a mad scramble.

I spoke with my science teacher before my noon class. I had had a class of his a few years ago, one of those classes I sort of stopped going to (got a D, I think). This time around, however, is a bit different, which he's noticed. I asked him if he could fire off a quick email to Dr. Wilson, to help me prove my seriousness.

Then I had to get a hold of my World Civ teacher, whose name I had forgotten. I didn't have any of the paperwork for his class with me yesterday, because that class is Tuesday nights, so I called UNO and after a series of calls, I found out the name of the teacher (Mayfield) and got his office number. Explained the situation to him as well, and he was more than willing to write a note in my favor.

Later that day, as I was getting ready to head to my algebra class and go over the same thing with that teacher, I got a call from Dr. Wilson. After receiving the two "glowing" reports from my science and history professors, she decided to go ahead and lift the block on my name and let me register for the Media Writing class (which, I guess, everyone in the School of Communication has to take). I was able to get the original time and day I wanted for the class, too, so I think I've got pretty nice upcoming schedule.

I've never been what one might call an A student. Maybe back in elementary school, y'know, but that's it. From middle school onward, C's all the way. I was always told how smart I was, which I am, but who wants to constantly hear it over and over and over again? That's a lot of pressure. So I think it was a bit of a backlash towards that. "If I'm so damn smart, I can get by without even really trying." I just didn't care.

Turns out I care now, and it's amazing what you can accomplish when you give a shit. I'm getting an A in the science class, an A in World Civ (113/116 available points, according to my teacher), and I never really found out my grade from my algebra teacher, because I didn't have to ask her for a note, but I'm fairly certain I'm getting a B or an A.

It's been a long, long time since I got grades like this, since I even cared what grades I received, and it's kind of a weird feeling. I think I'm still, partly, doing this for my parents, because they've done nothing but believe in me despite my constant and consistent fucking-up, but mostly I'm doing it for myself, which makes all the difference in the world.


Angelkris said...

That's great man- by the time I got to college I was just so sick of going to school. I had the same pressure- I'm at college because it's what is expected of me. Not because I really wanted to be there or actually cared that much. I knew a dregree was required for my chosen career in life, but other than that- I wouldn't have gone if I didn't have to. I glad I did it now, but all that time spent in college, I pretty much still half assed everything. Think I ended up with a 3.35 or something- could have been a lot better.

Boston Jen said...

Hazzah! Three cheers for 1031's new joy for learning! I have to say that I am a very strong supporter of taking time off between HS and college or college and grad school if you have any sort of lack of motivation to do anything school related. Some motivation issues can be worked through, but I have seen how effective taking a year (or more) off can be at re-invigorating one’s impetus to learn… and struggled as a result of not taking that time myself.

1031 said...

My only wish is that I had realized earlier that I shouldn't have dove right into college, and instead taken a year or two right after high school, but we can't change the past, merely learn from it.

I just turned 27 and I've still got about two years of college left. Yet, as they say, better late than never.

Scott said...

My parents told me that I would either have to go to college or pay rent. Duh! I took art classes and failed everything else. It took me 10 years to get my AA. I had failed math so many times that I had to write to dean and ask permision to take it again (that was humbling) Well, I go my sh*t together and now I am a teacher, so go figure!


p.s. the word verification was adrqiszx

mEg said...

Hey, I'm proud of you as well 1031. It's really a profound feeling when you make a decision like that. Glad you like being smart.

AliKat said...

Yeah for 1031 being so damn smart, not that it is now expected of you to get such wonderful grades all the time or anything. :) Don't want that pressure tp build up again.