Surviving College: Despair & Panic

Blogging is an amusing thing to pursue when I only have five more weeks until I officially become an annoying hope-filled college graduate. It will unquestionably become both my best friend and my worst enemy in the upcoming weeks as I think about all the things I should be paying for and all of the working I’m not doing.

As far as school goes, I’m behind. Not just normal behind, but unproductive in every aspect. I’ve been skipping volunteer sessions  supposedly to finish schoolwork (uh-hem, let’s talk the newest episode of 30 Rock?); I’ve been going out to eat almost every day (not daring to look at my bank statement), and have rarely been working more than two shifts a week at work. What this begins to add up to is an exceptionally poor student in many aspects moneywise, educationwise, and emotionwise.

However, there is an upside to all of this school house of procrastination, which is that I have had plenty of time to go to the dentist, clean my apartment, sell my clothes, read magazines, and look at jobs in other cities for which I am not qualified nor interested. I’ve also had plenty of time to update my personal website, print resumes, and did I mention eating? Yes, plenty of eating to pass the time.

And really, I can’t afford not to get a 4.0 this quarter. My GPA suffered when I was a sophomore from a general lack of understanding of the importance of college. By the time my 19 year-old-self realized that I should be studying 5X the amount I had been, I had racked up a severe amount of debt, had no major, and obtained an unsightly drinking problem. Not to mention the emotional blandness caused by doubt and a lack of social support.

I, like many other “working-class” teens, had absolutely no idea why I went to college in the first place. Being the first generation in my family to even seriously consider college, I applied to WWU because of the oddly late deadline and a general misconception of what college was like. I assumed it would be something like when you go to Target and look at the “college department” with all the pink folded-down sweatpants with words on the butt. That was my idea of college, and that’s how I treated it.

I decided to be an Engineering major because I thought it was most impressive. My family had all this hope for me. Like, “wow, your loan debt will one day be worth something more than a life of paying the government and servitude!” But having no real experience in physics, and not knowing why I was in college, I quickly let my grades drop. Like, seriously drop. I enjoyed a fantastic year of sleeping in, traveling, and hanging out with my friends. Oh, and a year of academic probation, failing grades, and a year of wasted loans.

I would have had a better chance of surviving in the 1700’s if I fell off a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the passage from Europe to the colonies wearing a corset while pregnant. The chances that I was going to get through a 17 credits of physics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, and math were slim to none.

But finally I got serious. Like the adult I was, I found a major I was actually adept at and enjoyed. And I genuinely enjoyed it. Getting my grades up from a 2.0 to something that would allow me into a reputable law school is no joke; I literally did not and do not hang out with anyone who is not in one of my classes. And when we do hang out, we do homework. All of my (few) friends can attest to this—I absolutely need to receive a 4.0 in order to get into a law school, as GPA and LSAT scores are the only things law schools look at when admitting students. This is not exactly one of those whiney I-need-to-get-all-As-thing. This is more of an I-need-to-get-into-law-school thing.

So really, I should be writing and writing and reading and analyzing and fully utilizing blackboard. And studying. Because like I said, five weeks is only five weeks, and these 15 page papers don’t write themselves.

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