Oh, Darling – There are Far Worse Things than a W

I started out with a flurry of ambition and a lil’ titch of pride.

I AM GOING TO GET A NON-PROFIT BUSINESS MANAGEMENT MINOR *insert fireworks and parade when in all caps*.

The conversations would now go as follows:

“So, what’s your Major?”

“I am an Interdisciplinary Humanities Major.”

“Oh, what’s that? Well, I mean, I know what it is just not what you would do with it? Are you minoring in anything?”

“Oh yes, German and NON-PROFIT BUSINESS MANAGEMENT.”

“Oh my! So, you’re in the Business school?”

“Yes indeed.”

“Wow, the business school is so good and what a useful minor.”

—-

No, for reals, that is about how it went for the 5 months I was declared as a NON-PROFIT BUSINESS MANAGMENT MINOR.

I remember it still…on that fateful day in January – I stepped into the Tanner Building. No longer was it just a means to skip the stairs and ride up the elevator to avoid sweatage; no – now I had a class in those posh, stainless steel and glass halls. I finally could say I was taking my education seriously because I was taking a class in the building with indoor fountains and an atrium-esque ambiance.

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The class? Accounting.

At first I felt pretty badass. I was crunching numbers, making journal entries, and my time was taken up by an amount of studying which can only be described as absurd.

I studied my heart out and by the 4th week, well passed the add/drop deadline, I had already filled up almost ¾ of one of my brand-new Walmart spiral notebooks. I walked into my first midterm having done the practice exam 4 separate times and re-watched all of the online lectures.

I sat down in the Great Hall of Anxiety (the Testing Center – no joke; the anxiousness in that room is so dense you can lick it off the walls), and then…

I sat there blankly staring at the pages for an hour.

Not one of those filthy questions had been anywhere on any sort of homework or practice problem. NOT. ONE. Three hours into the exam my self-confidence has been machine-gunned into oblivion by 20 unassuming, multiple choice questions.

As I walked away from the building I opened up the online portal to view test scores.

“Congratulations,” it said.

58%

I stifled back a choke/cough/sob/laugh thinking, Oh, ok, if I studied a ton this must be average.

NOPE. Flash-forward to class the next day when the accounting teacher decides to talk statistics.

Like 40% of the class got 100%, 50% got 80%, 7% received 70%s, 2% received 60%, then another 1% received lower than 60%.

I WAS THE FREAKING 1%.

The bros behind me were like,

Dude 1 (wearing Vivint hat): “Dude, I totally bombed that test.”

Dude 2 (freshman, already wearing suit and tie because he lives in that building and I think he might be an alien): “Dude, ya, I totally know what you mean – it was friggin’ hard.”

Dude 3 (wearing Supreme shirt and Vivint snapback): Brahs – if you want we could start a study group. I work out 3 hours erry’ night, but we could do, like, after 9?

Dude 2: “Wait – where do you go?”

Dude 3 and Dude 1 in synchronization: “VASA.”

*Bro-ing out ensues and they compare work out routines*

Dude 1: “Wait, so what did you guys get on the test?”

Dude 2: “90% man.”

Dude 3: “Ya, man, me too, 90%.”

Dude 1: “Aw man, dude, I got 95%.”

Professor: “But don’t worry! All of you who got lower than a 60% on the test are on track to get a D! So you WILL pass this class. Just stick with it!”

Needless to say, my head then was between my knees, my phone on the floor, earbuds in, and phone playing Parks and Rec.

I came home that night to my dear roommate who had also received a terrible score on a test. Together we made a pact to Withdraw from the classes which would from that moment on be hanging over our heads. The hopeless classes which, we discovered, could only give us Cs if we somehow pulled off 100%s on every midterm and final to come. We would no longer be full-time students. There would be a big fat W on our transcripts proclaiming to the world that we gave up.

Lying in bed that night, my sloppily medicated (legally medicated from a doctor, k, mom??) mind started to race.

What are you doing, Daniela?

You aren’t a quitter.

YOU FINISH THINGS.

Why’d you get a 58% in the first place?

What will that do to your transcript?

A W grade?!?!?!

You probably don’t even have problems focusing…

Why are you like this?

All the insecurities that come with being less than perfect came flooding to my ears and my heart began to quicken. I was not meant for the Tanner building, nor snap backs, nor calculated answers.

 

I sonder through and add up years

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and seek dogs to find joy

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and interpret paintings

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and I love

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and adore

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deeply

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and completely.

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In a drunken movement I leaped out of my bed, picked up my computer, and clicked the little trash can next to the ACC200 class.

Are you sure you wish to Withdraw from this class (ACC200)? You will not be able to re-enroll once you do this.

Yes.

I flung myself back in bed. A smile hinted at my lips and it seemed that the voice of God lovingly, knowingly, parented me to sleep,

“Oh, darling – there are far worse things than a W.”

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