I have always been a good student. Throughout high school and college, I have earned A's and B's consistently, and my friends and family knew me for making such grades.
But then the fall of sophomore year of college hit me like a train.
I came into the semester thinking I would be able to manage working as a community leader (or an RA for my non-Baylor folks) and finally reach my goal of making the Dean's List by earning a 3.7 GPA. Last semester I was .02 points away from earning that prestigious award, and I was determined to earn what I was so close to.
As I adjusted to the new year, I prioritized my CL job before academics, and my grades showed it. I was falling behind in classes and not putting the 100% effort that I always gave to my academics. I never had a job before this year, and because it was something that I truly love and was passionate about, I didn't put too much focus on my classes.
That is a problem when you're stuck in a majority of basic classes that are required to earn a degree from a college. You are forced to take four English classes and learn about old Shakespeare plays and three science classes with labs. I'm a journalism major, not anything science related, so the idea that I have to spend 12 credit hours learning about rocks and space is not worth my time.
Nevertheless, I ended up with my first C in college. I couldn't bear the fact that it would tear my GPA apart from my normal 3.6 to barely a 3.0 for the semester. I was terrified for a moment that I would lose my academic scholarship, crying at the thought of not being able to pay off my semester bill.
However, I don't regret earning a C in British Literature one bit. Sure, it hurt me academically and emotionally, but it has taught me so much about the value and importance of my education. If you know me at all, you know that my education is one of my top priorities. From a young age, my parents instilled in me a work ethic that I put in towards school. My parents didn't force me to get a job in high school because my job was to earn good grades.
Education is important to me, but when I'm in class and I'm learning to memorize plot lines for a book or the minerals in rocks for a test, I'm not actually learning. Yes, I am learning information that is teaching me skills that I can use for the rest of my life. But the information I am trying to learn is not being retained.
I'm also more than just my GPA. Ten, 15, or 30 years down the line, my boss isn't going to care that I earned a C the fall semester of my sophomore year. They will care about my experiences and my ability to do my job well. A silly number is not going to define my future.
The most important lesson I learned by earning a C in college is time management. I put too much time into my job, taking time to make sure my residents had an amazing first semester of college. I cared more about my job rather than my academics and my future.
Now that I have earned a C, I feel more prepared than ever to do better, work harder and finally get on the Dean's List. C's get degrees, but I pray to God that this is my first and last C ever.