When I was in high school, I received spectacular grades without studying, and most things came with ease. I had taken several advanced placement (AP) courses and did well on the exams. When I arrived to college, I felt as if things would not be as difficult as they became. I am truly the first in my family to have the real “college experience.” The getting accepted, going away, dorming and having a suite of my own so I could have a taste of living without my mother for the first time.
Despite my excitement and how movies portrayed college life, the first semester proved to be harder than I anticipated. My social life was thriving but academically, I thought I was more ready. Having a very detailed syllabus with all assignments throughout the semester and way more weekly online assignments than in high school was a shock.
I had never done well with mathematics and the sciences. I never had an aptitude for the subjects, but I began to despise them as soon as the common core was implemented in my high school. I was silly enough to sign up for contemporary biology during orientation thinking it would be like my high school living environment class which I passed with ease. I began to struggle with a major required class as well: microeconomics. I feel as if no one told how hard or math intensive it would be. I did not know how to really ask for help because I had never needed it in high school. I felt almost scared to ask for help because it was my major, I thought I should be handling it. If I could not handle it, I felt as if I did not deserve to be in this major. If could not get past a small obstacle like this how was I supposed to travel abroad and help others?
The truth is, because of my actions, I was placed on Academic Probation this semester. I was so ashamed initially. I felt as if I failed myself, my family and the college. When we began modifying the academic probation letter and trying to connect with how the recipients would feel when they received the letter, it was not difficult for me. In a way, it hurt to see the letter again but changing its language and the presentation of the letter became sort of rewarding for me.
I do not want others students to feel the failure and shame I felt when I received it. I do not want them to feel alienated from the other students, to be on a different “status.” Modifying the letter so future students would not feel inferior was crucial to me. I felt like this whole semester I had to keep the secret that I was on academic probation from all my friends. I am really close with my suite, but they had no idea. I felt as if I had to hide everything because people would be shocked and act differently towards me. I imagined they would say: “you? This must be wrong” or “how? You’re such a smart girl” or “you’re joking, right?”
My story however is not a sad one; it is one of resilience.
I worked as hard as I knew I could and put forth my best effort to change bad habits that had nearly dragged me down. I recall us discussing in class intelligence is not a set thing rather it is something that grows with you. My GPA by the end of this semester will be well above the required 2.0 and it has not been an easy road.
When I was first introduced to GLOBE, it meant little to nothing to me. I did not really see the significance and I did not think it would really impact my life. Throughout this semester I believe I have found out the true purpose of GLOBE and how it will stay with me for the rest of my life. I had to realize GLOBE did not ask us to be flawless robots incapable of error, and it does not demand perfection of each student. They want individuals. GLOBE emphasizes the growing process. The growing process is certainly not without fault, and it is full of mistakes and lessons, but the most important part is learning from the experiences and obstacles.