The Shadows I Can’t Escape
I’m scared and I’m frustrated. That pretty much describes my weekend.
In 2004 when I was attending college for the first time, extenuating circumstances required me to start working full time at my then part-time job at Wal-Mart and stop going to classes. It was about survival. I don’t want to go into details here other than to say that I didn’t have anyone I could depend on, and had to do what was necessary for myself to survive.
I ended up with F’s in the four classes I was taking. It was unfortunate, but like I said, there was nothing I could do.
I always told myself I’d return to school when I was able, and something always prevented me from going when I set out to go; a car would break down, a relationship would turn sour, an unexpected bill (health-related or otherwise) would pop up. I was finally able to return in Fall of this year.
I applied for and received Academic Forgiveness for the 2004 semester I had to stop attending. What that means is that that semester does not affect my GPA. I made all A’s this semester, so I have a 4.0. I thought having that meant that I was good, and that the past was behind me. I recently found out that’s not the case.
The college I plan to transfer to next year will not honor the Academic Forgiveness my current college granted. That means my GPA will significantly drop when I transfer. I have to have a 2.7 GPA to enter the Education program in my state, so that’s a scary prospect. Two of my teachers this past semester recommended me for the Honors program, and I applied, but I am worried that that semester will prevent me from getting in. Finally, on Friday, I learned that my financial aid for Spring has been canceled.
To qualify for financial aid, you have to maintain a 2.0 GPA, and you must have a 67% completion rate for all of the courses you attempt. My 4.0 this semester brought my overall GPA up to 2.1 (this is ignoring the Academic Forgiveness, as Financial Aid doesn’t take that into account). My completion rate is only at 50%, however. It would have been impossible for me to get a 67% completion rate in one semester.
Federal loans are considered part of my financial aid, so I can’t afford to attend school in Spring if I don’t receive my financial aid. I tried to call them on Friday to discuss the situation, but naturally they were closed after I got out of work. I have to wait until Monday before I can speak to anyone.
What’s frustrating is that this semester from 12 years ago is continuing to hurt me today. I didn’t fail my classes because I didn’t try or because I skipped classes, but rather because of something that happened to me. I had no control over the situation. What’s scary is my college career could end here, despite my best effort to do well.
I don’t know what to do. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying not do freak out about this all weekend. I just have to wait until Monday.