30 Days of Truth | Day 3

May 06, 2012

By Katrice

Something you have to forgive yourself for ...

{Prologue: I have been out of undergrad now for 14 years.}
It was my dream to attend an HBCU, and I did  pursuing a bachelor's degree in political science at Howard University in 1993. It was my first time living outside of Ohio away from my family and I was as nervous as I was excited. But, I made wonderful friends immediately and loved being in the city. Before going to HU, I had been a pretty focused student throughout high school. I never considered myself book smart, but studied relentlessly to be sure I would have limitless options. My first year at Howard, I did pretty well in all of my classes, except English. I struggled and was all of sudden timid about getting to the bottom line of my problems with my composition assignments. The one time that I did meet with my instructor, she reprimanded me for not coming to see her sooner and told me to get a tutor. Embarrassed, I decided I wouldn't meet with her again. Moreover, I didn't get a tutor right away. Needless to say, I had to retake the class. My second year, again, my grades were okay; But, nothing like they had been in high school. While I loved the experience of being in the "big city" and at an all-black university, I was homesick enough that I became distracted and my  grades were just above average {not at all competitive}. And all of a sudden, I had a deficiency in my funding for the second semester. When I met with a financial aid adviser, my GPA wasn't high enough to position me for any last-minute scholarships. Long story short, I would have to leave the university. Thankfully, I didn't go home  but on to Kent State University. I can say thankfully now because I don't even want to imagine what may have happened with my college career had I gone home. But, at the time, I was devastated. I couldn't believe my dream had slipped through my fingers ... partly because I was not resourceful and partly because I had not been at my best. Thinking back, the amount of money I needed to stay at HU was likely manageable but I had no idea where to begin with my college financials. I acclimated well at KSU after the first semester. My grades were very good and my friends were like family. But, when I graduated, I cried throughout the entire ceremony — so ashamed of myself  because I believed I should have been walking across the stage in Washington, D.C. And I knew that had I been a better student and more responsible, I would have graduating with my friends at Howard. Sometimes, it's difficult for me to talk about my undergraduate college years because, simply put  I should have been better. Even with all of the success that I have experienced since that time, I have never forgiven myself. My angst about this subject was actually so buried that when I pondered this question, I thought I didn't have a truth to share. Now, that it's out, I'm glad that I've unearthed it and can move on. Today, I'm forgiving myself.

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11 comments

  1. Oh my goodness Katrice! That past statement was so powerful!!!!! I have a similar regret, in that I started at Dillsrd University, came back to Houston and attended Texas Southern University with plans to stay a year, but never left. While I'm grateful to have avoided hurricane Katrina, I often wonder how my professional life would be had I stuck to my original plan of graduating from Dillard University.

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  2. I think we have to know that we are exactly where we should be. As I was coming to the end of the post, I started to pack that feeling back down. And then I thought, no. I'm going to move on from this. I'm where I should be.

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    1. Yes! We are where we should be. I love that!!

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  3. What a courageous thing to do! I agree about being where you were meant to be. I have struggled with the outcome of my college career also and the student loan payments is a constant reminder. When I graduated with a degree in Broadcastig I never really had a plan for my career. When I had my daughter it seemed like a way out- especially since my first job in the field came with the boss from hell! LOL. I then turned to Interior Design which navigated me to Fashion Design and entrepreneurship. While I love what I do now I cant help but beat myself up at times as to why I didn't stick to Broadcasting- it was my dream since childhood. At 35 I know now that life is capable of turning you in circles and what you think was for naught usually adds up to something beautiful. So I take your cue - I FORGIVE MYSELF!

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  4. great post! Love the honesty. I am currently finishing my first semester of grad school at N.Y.U. and it was super intense. Time management was my biggest downfall this semester which lead to C's on all my exams. I am disappointed in myself, but I know I will do better. Juggling parenting, a full-time job and school has been tough. Unfortunately, there isn't a manual for these things. We live and we learn. The greatest part it 'learning' from what we've done and becoming better because of it. That's what life is about. Proud and happy that you didnt give up on college and kept going to receive your degree. That's a great accomplishment--don't underestimate it--ever! :)

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    1. Thanks Deborah! I was talking with a friend about this post and I told her that a major part of my forgiving myself was realizing that what I gained in return was my ultimate dream all along. I have always wanted to be a magazine editor ... yet, I was at HU majoring in political science. !!!! God has been better to me than I could be to myself.

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  5. Great post! I'm sure it felt good to let go of that guilt and forgive yourself. I too have felt guilty about not sticking to my "plan" and doing what I thought I was supposed to do. But as you stated, God had other plans and things have worked out exactly as they were supposed to.

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  6. "Today, I'm forgiving myself." #profound
    God orders our lives in unimaginable ways.
    Keep ROCKIN' on your path.
    Love you! *Q

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