Flunking College

Have you ever read the book the scarlet letter? I have, in highschool. A letter that was basically placed on a girl as she’d walk around her society ashamed of what she had done. I felt exactly like that when I flunked out of college. I started college in 2005, basically ahead of myself an entire year since I was skipped from 7th grade to the 9th in my old school’s little experiment. They skipped 5 of us out of 30 students who had a grade point average of 90 and above. I believe it really was to whittle the number of the class down so we wouldnt have to be all handled by one home room teacher anymore. Yet, I was on the bare end of the stick, getting exactly 90 overall grade point average on my report card. I was thrilled. A las! I wouldnt have to be in the same class as my younger brother who had skipped the 1st grade just because he was so smart. I wanted to feel smart too. So fast foward and I barely walk down the aisle because I could hardly scrape through the math final exams. Ever since I was in the 5th grade my teacher noticed that I was a lot slower than the others in calculating numerical problems and even being completely puzzled as to how to even approach a word problem. That problem only got worse. So now I face the final curtain — graduation — and my school counselor is calling out names as we walk across the stage to get our diplomas. Tessa Greenaway. Applause. Tessa plans to study in the University of Antillean Adventista in Puerto Rico and wants to become a Gynocologist/Obstetrician in the future.


That sounded so hefty. All my life I had said I wanted to deliver babies, be in the same room as a woman giving birth…now? Maybe? I wasn’t so sure once I heard it out loud on a speaker being spelled out for me. It was as if I had written my own death sentence and hammered the gavel myself. I was officially stuck — I thought. I couldn’t turn back now, it was too late.

Fast forward again and my decent GPA since graduating highschool 3.5 has dropped to a miserable 1.5. It’s only been a year at this school in Puerto Rico and I honestly have learned nada. Three young men who were there with me were wondering the same as I — why were we there if we didn’t know any spanish? That language barrier was crushing out College experience and learning capabilities. So we all decided to transfer to oakwood college in alabama to get a fresh start. There I planned to ditch pre-med and go with nursing which I assumed would be smoother sailing, less of a head ache, would resurrect my GPA and get me on a more realistic path to my goal. Truth is, I still felt like my goal was hefty. In fact, it wasn’t even parallel to who I was. Don’t get me wrong, I really did love biology in highschool, especially science labs and loved it even more in Anatomy and Physiology courses I took in AL, yet my major took a heated blow. I was only 17 when I first started and now turning 18 in my ‘do-over’ year, I couldn’t figure out who I was fast enough or even what I truly liked and no one was telling me or giving me a clue that I didn’t have to. No one told me that it was okay to not know who I was yet and that I could have done general studies and then pick my poison later.

I really gave my majors — all 5 of them a shot. I switched from nursing to dietetics. Then from that to computer science. Then from that to English. Yeah, I know. I was really lost. I chose those in particular to run away from my life long enemy, which was math. The crude abstract subject that I simply couldnt wrap my brain around no matter how much tutoring I got. My mother is a proffessional educator! How could I live with her and not be good at that! It does happen. Yet, I’m writing out my story because it seems it’s the one thing that I have always been good at since I was 8 years old. Writing always came easy for me. My ideas, stories and poems could ebb and flow through my words on paper and it would easy my tensions in other subjects. I’d always say, at least I can write good. At least I have a class I can ace without really trying. Reading Comprehension, Essay writing, critical thinking — I loved it all. So why would I want to major in pre-medicine?

My answer: I really didn’t.

I was supposed to graduate college in 2008. Yet that was the year I was sitting in front of my Advisor heaing the words “We’re going to have to suspend you for a year. We had put you on probation this past semester to see if you can get your GPA up, but you have failed. You may reapply in the Fall 2009.”

Re-apply? I thought. Forget it.

I did return to my island home and applied to the University there. Yet I had to face math again and was told I may even have to take the skills classes. My overall GPA on my transcripts read .17. Yes, it wasn’t even a 1. I had flunked so bad by trying, it was better I had just graduated highschool and kept my 3.5 GPA nice and shiny on the shelf. I wish I hadn’t tampered with it at all, leaping into an instution that was WAY over my head with little to no concepts that I could grasp. I concluded that college wasn’t for me. But the real question is, what was really FOR me?

Or should I say, WHO was for me?

My mom had suggested I take a break from school once I had graduated, but I didn’t want to lag behind. When she mentioned it, I jumped up in my mind, afraid that if I did such a thing, my brother would catch up with me, pass me and I’d be back to where I was before — not so smart. Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed forward so fast. Maybe I should have taken that year and saved myself the burden of student loans today. Maybe I should have stayed with my classmates and gone to 8th grade going at a slower pace. Maybe I could have saved myself from dead end jobs, hours of depression and idleness, trying to put a ‘colorful’ resume together…

Maybe I should have sought God first.

Like what you read? Give Tessa Greenaway a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.