11:15 PM: "GRADES ARE UP!!" read a message from Val, a girl I met in my macroeconomics class.
Shock. That was fast... a mere two days had passed since we wrote the final exam.
I jumped out of bed, grabbed my laptop, logged onto my university portal. Nothing. No grades.
"They're not there!!" I practically yelled into the phone as soon as V answered.
"Check your e-mail, Kate."
There it was... the most anticipated, yet most dreaded e-mail of the year. The Excel attachment would reveal my grade for the last undergraduate university class I'd ever take...
As I opened the file, I scrolled all the way to the bottom and checked for my student ID number in the F section. I hadn't failed. PHEW!
Relief. I was out of the woods. I graduated.
I kept scrolling up, I was in the D- section. There it was... 1****82. My student ID number!
I got a D-.
The last grade of my academic career thus far was a D-! The worst grade I had ever gotten. The worst grade I could ever get! For a brief moment, my life was over.
I woke up my entire family... cried for about an hour until C called and put things into perspective for me.
I got a D- in economics. 85% of the class failed the final exam. Shit happens. A D- on a mainly good transcript is not the end of the world. Life throws you curveballs. You take them. He told me about the D or two that he got during his undergraduate degree. He told me to take a look at him now. He's just finishing up the first year of his MBA in one of the most prestigious programs in the United States. He landed the internship of his dreams. He got a D. "You're a smart girl, Katherine-Marie. A D- will not determine your entire future. You're going to get your MBA, and things are going to be great for you. I know it." With those words, my life began to fall back into place.
The D- on my transcript was perhaps the biggest lesson I learned throughout my entire academic career. In fact, it taught me much more than ECON 203 ever could.
It taught me that nothing is certain in life. It taught me that good things happen to those who work their asses off. And that's what I did. I worked my ass off for that D-. I studied for weeks for that D-. I owned that D-. That D-, alongside my sea of As and Bs is going to take me places. It's going to get me into the graduate program of my choice. It's going to open doors, not shut them. It's going to give me something to talk about.
One bad score will not determine my future.
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