About a month ago, I wrote a blog about my troubles with my undergraduate life. I named it 2.1 because that was the GPA I graduated college with. Nothing to be proud of. I got lucky to even graduate and in many ways I felt like I wasted my undergrad years. Fast forward to present day and I have a new number to smile at: 3.5

I have been very much on the fence with graduate school, there is no question about that. It is not because I do not want to do it because I do. It has a lot to do with where I do it. I’ve made it no secret of my desires to leave Syracuse to go back home, but I figured while I’m still here I might as well continue my education. Like most things in my life, I figured that I will just take that leap of faith and figure out later how I’m going to land.

This semester was no different. I took the History of Urban Education as a last minute decision. You may recall that I decided that this year was all about “no more excuses,” so this was one of those things I had to stop procrastinating about. This was class number 4 and at this point, I had two A- and a B- ( Economics…blah). For those counting…that left me with about a 3.3 and change. Up to this point, I had never gotten an A in a 3 credit class. Sure, an A- is great but it is frustrating when you are shooting for the highest marks.  Not to mention that the only As that I have ever gotten was in one credit classes…so it means next to nothing.

So, I took this class not knowing how hard it would be. It turns out that when you take classes that you are actually interested in, they are not that hard, its just a matter of how much work you are willing to put in. I think about all the long nights. Coming home from work at 9pm then reading until about 2am. I am not sure about anyone else, but doing that week in and week out tends to make you read slower because of fatigue. But, I continued down this path because I wanted to get my first A ever. The two A- before it were just about heartbreaking enough.

I did all my work and what was required of me. I met with the professor a few times about the topic of my 20 page paper. Just when I thought I found the topic I wanted…I changed it at the last minute. It was just not flowing. It got so bad that I had to ask for an extension at the last minute. I realize now that the title of my paper is a tad redundant: Latinos in Urban Education: The Struggle for Inclusion in Public Education. Some people had asked if they can read it, but I was holding off until I got the verdict on the class.

I wish I was lying when I say that it felt like blood, sweat, and tears went into this paper. But when I think about the struggles in my life, this was the one thing that I can control. I know that if I can get this work done, I can be more than what I was in my undergraduate stint. I need to prove to myself that I am indeed an A student.

I did it. Today I checked my status online. I got an A. One of the few things that I did not screw up. One of the few things I can say I did right…and I did it for me. I cannot tell you how many times I felt worthless, but today…I feel that I can do anything. I have a 3.5 as a grad student…3.7 in my area of concentration.

All my frustrations have been worth it. I am an A student. Turns out that I always was.

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