Home for Christmas — with disappointing academic tidings

Julianna Eveland

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays.

Unless you have poor grades and a low GPA that need to be explained to your parents once you get there.

If that’s the case, the thought of returning home can cause a dreaded, sinking feeling — almost nauseating.

I know because I have experienced this feeling firsthand.

People say the transition from high school to college isn’t easy. They said it would take a lot more work, dedication and willpower. I didn’t take heed of these warnings.

A lackadaisical, absent-minded semester landed me right in that pit of despair as the months that led to winter break turned into weeks and then days.

I fooled myself into thinking I had enough time to raise my grades after Thanksgiving break.

Thanksgiving break is a rip-off vacation that fools students into thinking they have a chance to relax before finals. This is a common mistake made not only by first-years but by students of all grade levels.

When I returned from break and realized my chances of making it anywhere near an acceptable GPA were dismal, I panicked.

I thought about selling my soul for extra credit, but apparently professors don’t do that anymore.

There was no way out of having to tell my parents I didn’t try my best that fall semester. I had to face the music.

I waited until after Christmas to tell them the bad news (didn’t want to put a damper on the Christmas cheer) and held my breath for their reaction.

Yes, they were angry. Yes, they were disappointed. And yes, they almost didn’t want to send me back to Chico State.

After lots of tears, apologizing and convincing them I’d do better next time, my parents agreed to let me return.

I came back to Chico in the spring and turned everything around. I got better grades, improved my GPA and got a better perspective on how lucky I am to even to come to college.

Students are going to make mistakes their first year in college.

The important thing is to learn from the failures and turn them into successes.

Julianna Eveland can be reached at [email protected] or @janeca12 on Twitter.