What It's REALLY Like To Fail Out Of College

What It's REALLY Like To Fail Out Of College

My experience battling anxiety and depression in college, how I got kicked out of college, and how I'm back in.
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Living with anxiety and depression most of your life is hard enough, but adding school to that can be even more difficult.

Throughout high school, my battle with anxiety and depression became a tougher battle each day. When I finally graduated and started college in 2015, it became unbearable. I graduated high school with over a 3.0 GPA. I was involved in the marching band and worked with the sound crew for theater productions. I was in a pep band for basketball and created a petition against an injustice at my school.

So how did I wind up finishing my first semester of college with a .067 GPA?

I started college at Kennesaw State University as a Computer Science major.

I had recently started teaching myself to code HTML in high school and was pretty interested in it, but I really just wanted a career path that would make money. Throughout my first year, any passion for coding was ripped from me since most people in my class had been taught how to code for years and were completely ahead of me. On top of this, I made a dear friend who ripped my heart out. All of this (and more) on top of my already existing mental illnesses became too much, and I stopped going to classes altogether.

My entire first semester was a waste.

On a good day, I would be able to get up and shower. On a better day, I would go eat. I rarely ventured outside of my room and lived off microwavable macaroni cups until I went home for Christmas. I came back for spring semester, determined to make it better than the previous semester. To no surprise, I fell back into my old pit of laying in the dark of my cramped dorm room and not going to class. I ended my very first year of college with a 1.0 GPA. I took online courses during the summer as I worked on endless appeals to help my GPA, and eventually failed math 3 semesters in a row.

I was actually kicked out of Kennesaw State University from my GPA…for 2 days. Yes. 2 days. After 2 days, I was told I could return because an appeal was accepted but by then it was too late. I had given up my lease on an on-campus apartment and was faced with no other option than to continue studying at a local community college. After 1 semester of community college, I dropped out from how poorly run it was and spent 4 months with no school and no job. It was a miserable point in my life, but I worked hard. I worked harder on my mental health than I had ever thought was possible. I had an extremely cathartic summer of finding myself and healing and wound up back at Kennesaw State for the 2017-2018 school year.

I am a 3rd-year student, and I am still considered a freshman.

However, I have changed in insurmountable ways.

I have survived my lowest and lived to tell the tale. I am ahead in my work in my current classes, I have an amazing support system from my parents and boyfriend, and I changed to a degree I am beyond passionate in. I am here to tell you that it’s ok not to be ok, self-care isn’t selfish, and things really do get better.

I am one of the few people who didn’t give up, but so many people each day lose to their battle of anxiety and depression.

Mental illness isn’t a joke and should never be taken lightly. If it wasn’t for the few friends I had left my first year, I would have never sought out help. I hope that others that are in my previous situation know that they are not alone, that help can be found, and that it is more common than they may think.

Cover Image Credit: Ari Lentini

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Self-Reflection Is Always Beneficial

Always ask yourself how you can improve your life.

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Self reflection is an important part of growing up. It is important to sit back and think about who you are and who you strive to be. I think that dwelling on the past too much can be extremely harmful, but that a little bit of reflecting on your past can be great.

Think about it, every choice you have made in your life so far has led to where you are now. Every single choice, no matter how small it may have seemed, has had a major impact on your entire life. The choices we make definitely change the path that we take.

Most likely, every friend you made changed your outlook something. Every place you went to will remain in your memories. Maybe you experienced something because of certain choices that led you to learn a valuable lesson.

Maybe those dreadful things of your past needed to happen to allow you to grow. No one deserves to hurt, but sometimes hurting then healing can be replenishing.

I think we should value our lives because they are so unique. No one on this earth will have had the same experiences you have. Even if someone was following you around 27/4 or was literally joined at the hip with you, they would not have the same life as you, because their thoughts would be different from yours and their perspective would be different as well.

You will never get the same day twice, so it is important to make every day the best you can make it. Try to laugh in stressful situations. Try to breathe when there seems to be no air left for you. It is vital to keep moving forward. If you look back, you'll trip on everything in front of you. Do not look into your past and examine your mistakes negatively. We grow from mistakes. We live and we learn. Use those mistakes as a study guide to become a better you. Use your past to your advantage and try to give yourself a better future.

It is important to know that life is a roller-coaster with twist and turns, peaks, and sudden drops that will make you feel sick to your stomach and scared for what's waiting at the bottom. But if you fear life, you will never enjoy the fun parts.

Look back and examine yourself but don't write a novel about your mistakes. Move past them and live a better life. Spread love, be kind, and be grateful for what you have overcome. Those hurdles you went through have only made you stronger.

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