I went to college right out of high school. It wasn’t the college I wanted to go to. I had scholarships to colleges and universities all over the eastern half of the United States. But it was the only college my parents would allow me to go to, because it was right next to home, and they could remain in control of my every move.
I went for 3 full semesters. I changed my major several times. Every semester, there was always a problem with my classes, some technical error messing shit up. It just added to my overall dislike of the college experience.
Then they put me in classes with students who were chronic failures. By that I mean, as a Freshman, they put me in classes full of upper-level undergrads who failed the same course multiple times, in some weird thinking that I, as a student around the same age, would be able to influence them and teach them in a way the professor couldn’t. I did not sign up to be a teacher. I wanted to learn.
Instead, I found myself dreading the days, semester after semester. I sat in my classes bored to tears. I saw the looks of frustration on my professors’ faces semester after semester. I shared in their loss of hope. A brilliant student with a bright future, wanted by all different schools, stuck at a college full of students who had little potential for success. And it wasn’t because they weren’t intelligent; so many of them were just lazy and didn’t put forth any effort. They were the athletes who came to class because they had to. They were the scholarship students who made it in based on factors outside of merit.
Despite my lack of effort and my loss of hope, I managed to achieve high rankings in my first year. I received an award medal. I was featured in local papers. And I didn’t understand why, because I didn’t even try. I felt so undeserving, because I was. I shouldn’t be awarded for something I didn’t even try to do.
So when my father got sick in 2006, it didn’t make me sad to drop out of college to take care of him. Even though I had to, it didn’t feel like a loss. I dropped out with a 4.0 GPA. I forfeited a $60,000+ scholarship. And it didn’t faze me one bit. I don’t think I would have lasted there four years. I lost my motivation to go there before I even started my first semester.
(When I wanted to go back to school, I couldn’t. Even though I financially supported myself, I was still considered a dependent and my parents were not allowing me to go back.)
Why am I bring this up? Because I feel the same thing happening again. I feel myself leaning towards dropping out of grad school. I have a 4.0 GPA. I have a scholarship. And yet, here I am, seriously considering dropping out of the University I thought for sure I would have earned my degree at.
I’ve lost my motivation to go. My experience there has been ruined for reasons I still don’t understand (and for reasons I can’t write about). I feel a sense of dread about starting classes again. I am no longer a proud student. I am angry and hurt. I am disheartened. I feel let down. I feel attacked. I don’t think I can continue for three years at a place where I no longer feel comfortable to be myself, to be honest, to be me.
I’ve spent the last week exploring other options. Other options exist. Much more affordable options. At places where I can start over, and hopefully not be judged for who I am.
I need to be motivated. Once I start to lose that, even a little, it ruins the experience for me. And this has happened again, as it has happened so many times before in my life.
Twice a dropout. Twice a 4.0 GPA dropout. Twice a scholarship-forfeiting, 4.0 GPA dropout.
5 thoughts on “Dropout”
This seems to have happened so suddenly?
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Oh! That makes it uncomfortable. But you haven’t done anything wrong. Or said anything wrong. You have a right to free speech and to share you story.
Whoever the jerk is that opened their big fat mouth will find some other people’s life to mess with in a heartbeat.
Hang in there dear. Whatever decision you make, take comfort knowing you’re doing it for yourself, not for anyone or anything else. See your decision as a sign of strength, and not failure 🙂
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Sometimes we need to push through even when it seems difficult or like it’s not a great fit. School doesn’t always feel good or right and there are many moments I questioned if I was in the right place. But you just push through and it tends to even out again.
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Dear: I have a 4 year old granddaughter who is my touchstone for all things good and beautiful. She is dearly loved by a number of people. And sometimes she breaks into tears (the other night, because it was too late for me to make her pancakes.) These tears are real, not manipulative. I lean down and put my arms around her. This is how I feel about you. A small child is weeping. Something bad must have happened. I am so sorry that it did. I imagine the Tall Tall Tower of Bad Things that have happened to you. It is Frightfully Unfair that here is, Oh No, Another Bad Thing. Throughout, You remain Good and Beautiful. I lean across and put my arms around you. TS
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