Written in 3/17/2012
“It begins in Fall 2009, and it will end in May 2013. I am graduating in four years. I don’t care what people say.” I swore that to myself around January of 2012, when only 9 credit hours appeared on my transcript after the first year of college. FYI, it takes about 127 hours to graduate.
I had gone through some arduous times to fulfill the promise I made to myself.
When I first came in as a freshman, I was clueless about almost everything. Back when I was still in Learning Support Program (LSP), I had to take ENGL 90 and 91, READ 90 and 90 before taking ENGL 1101. Anyone who has been in the LSP would admit that there is- too much work, too little time, too many rules, and too little experience. Naming a few of the rules of this program would surprise you:
1. Dropping one LSP class means dropping all classes at the same time;
2. Missing more than 10% of the classes means WF, with NO EXCEPTIONS;
3. If a student fail/withdraw any LSP class for more than three times, he or she would be suspended from ASU.
Last but not least, 4. The thing I, and I’m sure anyone who was in the program, dislike the most was the fact: Credits hours for LSP courses do not count towards graduation. To explain, LSP classes are regular classes that you pay for, buy texts books, spend time on the work, BUT you do not get any credit for taking them. Even now when I think about this, I still get angry, like really angry.
The reason that I was in LSP was quite obvious since I’ve mentioned to you about my horrific SAT scores due to my deficiency in English. Even though I met great challenge writing paper every day and having homework to turn in for every class, my scores were at the edge of passing level. I exhausted my brain cells during every single class. However, being a inquisitive learner has always been my motto. Fearless was the term that best described how I lived my life. I met with my instructor Dr. D at least once every week to get help on improving my essay. I attended every class with the exception that I was in the emergency room for a few days. I met the satisfactory of all four LSP classes without withdrawing or retaking any of them.
I didn’t take any classes in the summer because of the internship I had in Taiwan; on top of that my mom really urged to see me after my visit to the emergency room. As a result, at the beginning of my second year of college, I only had 9 credit hours. At that time, I swore to myself, I’m going to overload myself with school work, in order to catch up and maintain my self-esteem. I went through sophomore year, taking about 18 hours a semester, including summer vacation. Around fall 2011, I became eligible for HOPE and other scholarships. I was maintaining my grades as well as working part time. It was an achievement that I proudly admit. I do enjoy bragging about these things, but the stories behind it were so rigorous that I wouldn’t even want to think about the details.
Let me just make this an exception and share with you. In summer of 2011, I was at school taking classes Mon-Thur from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. with short breaks in the middle. Fri-Sun I work part-time at a restaurant. Nevertheless, I passed my classes at first try, and I only had to go through painful withdrawal once.
I only spent a semester and a summer as a sophomore, which is the equivalent of 7 months; and I assure you not many people have similar experience.
After my core classes are taken care of since the first two years of college, Junior year is what I known as– going ham through major classes. All three years, I’ve been part of many student organizations and working in the society. I often woke up feeling sick and vomiting. Sometimes, I would drop dead on the table or any flat surface. I measured my weight every year, and I noticed that I went from 135 lbs to 110 lbs.
Recently, I told myself, “why not take it slow and get some good stereotypical college memories?”
Well, I really can’t. Main problem is that I was still under 21. On top of that, ASU was not a party school. ALSO, I was broke most of the time. So even if I could stay in college for as long as I want, I still wouldn’t be able to afford 3D movies, eating at Red Lobster, or going to a ball game. After all the thinking and wondering, I, still, decided to graduate on time.
What I could do is enjoy the moment I have in organizations and being involved with my
professors and classmates. From time to time, I loved to sit in the chairs on the 2nd floor of JSAC and hang out with friends I’ve known for years. We played Magic, talked about jokes, ate together, and watched videos on YouTube. Furthermore, I loved playing Wii with my friends as much as I want without my mom staring at my back. Jogging and camping with my boyfriend in South Carolina was also a relaxing thing to do. I traveled on planes yearly also. During winter break, I went to Taiwan and see my family; during Thanksgiving I was able to see my sister and her new life in Memphis, Tennessee; and during a few weeks of summer after my classes were over, I was able to go see Niagara Falls with my friend, and visit my cousin in Washington D.C. I signed up for a study abroad trip in 2012, and I’ll be going to my dream place, New York City, during Spring Break.
I do not have experience with being in a car race at night, getting drunk and wasted, smoking, having one night stands like some college students do. However, I can say I enjoyed my college life so far. There are moments I absolutely hate, but overall, college is fun.
I am Si-Long, and I will graduate on time. Once I set my mind on something, I’ll give out all I’ve got. Even though I will probably go through another living hell again in the summer, I would still enjoy most of it. I can only recall sweet parts of my memory if there are bitter parts to it.