If I learned anything from this semester at college, it’s that a strong finish can make you or break you.
Confession time: All semester my Math grade teetered back and forth between a B and a D. I knew I was never coming out of a math class with a B. Even if it was easy math, the tests would do me in. I could never make better than a D on my quizzes and tests all semester, and it wasn’t for lack of study.
When time came to take the quizzes, I didn’t use my book, even though the quizzes weren’t proctored and I could have cheated easily. Some of them were higher D’s than others, and I might have managed a C on one and forgot, but on the tests as well, the average for tests and Quizzes was a D.
My homework grade was an A. I’d hoped that would be enough to pull me to a C center, but as the semester drew toward a close, I realized that I’d missed a key assignment. I have no good excuse other than a poor choice in taking an 8 week Literature class. Never should have attempted it. Anyway, that pulled my whole average down into D territory.
I panicked. I spent days and days in Math Lab taking the practice final over and over. I hoped that it would take the edge off of my test anxiety and let me at least get a C on the final. It wouldn’t be enough to make me pass the class, but it would help my confidence when I took it over the next semester.
I planned to take the class again, even enrolled in it, just so that it was taken care of in the back of my mind, I had a contingency plan. Less stress still.
Then test day came around, and on my way to the testing center, I told myself that either way it was over today. I went in early so as not to give myself time to get worked up, and just took it.
I got a B! I couldn’t believe it! I walked calmly out the doors and called my husband. I couldn’t help it, I was excited. I told him that the man in the testing center was impressed because I pulled my grade up from a D to a C. I’d passed the whole class. I wouldn’t have to take it again, and better– it was the last math class I’d have to take. It was over.
I walked the rest of the way to my car, then sat in it for nearly ten minutes crying like a little kid. All the stress and tension I’d tucked away for the last two and a half years came out and it was glorious. By the time I was able to drive out of the parking lot I felt lighter. Never again would my GPA depend on something I was so very bad at. Biology for majors– no problem. College level math– now that’s terrifying.
This experience, along with a string of family losses, and the impending passing of yet another dear family member have taught me that the way I handle endings is important. Not just in my writing, but in life as well. Finishing strong can make all the difference between a failure and a success story.
Here’s wishing all of my readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. May 2015 be your year of new beginnings and amazing adventures!
Author: D.E. Chandler
Working on her first Book series, D.E. Chandler lives in Sapulpa, OK with husband Tom and lots of other wild animals.