As I write this, I’m sitting here with only two assignments left to complete. I do have another 4 assignments that I need to revise, but those really shouldn’t take any effort, but even counting those, I have 6 total assignments that I need to get done before I can consider myself complete with school. While there’s still a possibility that I’ll get stuff back, the reality is that I’m sitting here, with 39 days left until the end of the term, with a very real prospect of not having the daily effort for school by end of day tomorrow.
And that’s really exciting.
Or…at least it should be.
For some reason, the closer I get to the end of this whole process, the more it weighs on me. For the last two and a half years, I’ve been spending nearly every day doing some level of school work, and I’m finally at a point where that should not be a thing anymore, and I’m feeling the anxiety rise in me in ways it hasn’t before.
And I can’t exactly pinpoint why, although a recently resurfaced memory might be a pretty big indicator.
I’m constantly nervous that I’m somehow going to fail one of these last classes I have and then suddenly find myself in a place where I’m going to have to do a pile more work in an incredibly short amount of time. Considering my previous work, this should be a stupid thought, but, well, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Because this recently resurfaced memory comes from the first time I was in college, in which I was doing incredibly well, really trying in school for the first time, and I failed a class. Not because of my grades, but because the professor decided that I had been late to class too many times. There wasn’t a warning that this was coming, just suddenly I got my grade, was notified that I failed, and my world came crashing down. Although there were certainly a number of things that led to me dropping out of college the first time, this moment was definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Because of this failed class, I would be required to take an entirely extra semester of college because of how they didn’t offer the class every semester. And then I would have to go through all the work yet again, just because of this professor’s tardy policy, which, although it wasn’t exactly outside of the rules for the school, was definitely a vindictive act against me, which can be noted due to the fact that there wasn’t a warning, just a failure.
Oh, and the class, I feel is important to note, was Children’s Literature. This requirement for my degree was in a subject that I hold near and dear to my heart, and the only reason I failed it is because it was an early morning class, I was working two jobs, and I just couldn’t quite make it to class in time every morning.
And so, I think that this little nugget sticks in the back of my mind as I get so close to finishing again. Because that one little thing was the point in which my whole life changed. I was over three years in to my program for Elementary Education, at an unaccredited school, and I dropped out because I simply couldn’t fathom the purpose this professor had for failing me for such an arbitrary reason for a class that I was acing and really putting the effort into. And because I dropped out, when I finally got back to trying to be in school, again, I had to start from the absolute beginning. Because while the school promised their credits would transfer to this other school, they didn’t.
And after trying to start over, I realized I simply didn’t have it in me to start from the beginning. To do it all over again. It would take me nearly 20 years before I would actually decide that I should complete this process I started back in 1999. And here I am, just a mere two assignments away (6, if you want to get technical), and I think this is all hanging over me like it can all somehow be torn away from me because of some professor’s stupid rules that he decided suddenly mattered.
Like one of the assignments I got back for revision where the professor is unhappy there weren’t any pictures in the document I created, because although there’s nothing in the assignment notes or the rubric about pictures, that’s what he wanted, giving me a failing grade for that assignment unless I correct it.
Because college isn’t always about learning how to do something, it’s about learning how to bite your tongue and bow to whatever whims a teacher is expecting of you that day. And I’m not exactly great at that.
But…today’s the day where I get through the rest of this work. Or at least most of it. And within a few weeks I’ll have all my grades back, I’ll have all the work done, and I will finally know that I don’t have to do this bs again. And I’m really trying to focus on that light at the end of the tunnel right now.
And it’s not that easy.