Have you ever set a goal for yourself, worked extremely hard towards it, were super confident you were going to achieve it, and still fell short? I am sure many of you have, as that’s life… but I am beginning to learn and accept that I can’t always get what I want, even if I do everything within reason to be successful in my endeavor.
At the beginning of spring semester, fresh off my 4-month stay in New York City, I was ready to get back into the school groove and set a semester goal for myself to achieve another 4.0 G.P.A. Looking at my new schedule, with all new professors, I took a guess at which may be my most difficult classes. Although I am in school for fashion design, I don’t enjoy constructing fabric into clothing. So, “Draping 1” felt like it could pose as a problem. Turns out we barely sewed in that class, mostly just learned how to start the construction process on a dress form first, instead of starting with a flat paper pattern on the table which involves a lot of math (yuck!). My professor was great and was generous with her grading. As long as we showed up on time every class, and did our best, we’d get an A. So, I wasn’t surprised in the end when I did end up with a solid A in her class. The other class (out of the six), that I thought would be tricky to get an A in was drawing. I had a conflict with my schedule and had no choice but to take a certain professor that has a reputation for being harsh with grading. Most people in his class had had him for drawing for years now, but I was 1 of 2 “new” students which resulted in a bit of a learning curve. I am not the best drawer to begin with, but felt even further behind because he’d never taught me before, so I’d have to adjust to what he expected from his students. I had heard from others that they’ve worked hard in his class and couldn’t get better than a B+, so I was prepared to try my best, but also not be surprised if I couldn’t pull out an A. I ended up doing it! I spent most of my time, energy, and effort in projects for his class because I wanted to defeat the odds, and it paid off.
So, you may be thinking what went wrong? If I earned an A in both of the classes I was most concerned about, why didn’t I end up with a 4.0? When all of my grades were filled out for this semester, I was thrown off to see an A- next to a class that I felt I didn’t even need to worry about. Yes, I had succeeded in getting an A in the class I thought it would be impossible to get one in, but that victory was quickly replaced with confusion and annoyance that it didn’t even matter. After all of that, I fell short. That one bad seed, an A-, put me at a 3.945. I was pissed.
Some of you reading this may be rolling your eyes right now. “Boo hoo, she got a 3.945. I would’ve loved to see my semester G.P.A. at that number,” you may be thinking. I understand it does sound a bit ridiculous on paper (or screen), which is why I was hesitant to even talk about this… but that doesn’t takeaway from the dread I felt when I had gotten soooo close. That’s what makes it even worse. To be so close to a goal that you can almost touch it, but you’re not quite within reach.
The first and only time I’ve received a perfect G.P.A. was my first year of college, spring semester. I wasn’t even aiming for it. In fact I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the results: all solid A’s gleaming in their glory. I was proud of myself… but in a “this-is-a-cool-happy-accident kind of way.” How ironic is it that actually aiming for this achievement, and putting in everything I’ve got to attain it, just wasn’t good enough?
It’s a harsh reality, but there’s two things I can do with it: stay down/give-up or pick myself back up. I am choosing the latter. To me a 4.0 isn’t about the grade. It’s about striving for the best and seeing if I can grab it. To me it symbolizes the larger dreams I have for my life. I never want to stop challenging myself to go higher. If I can earn a perfect score in a program that has a reputation for being extremely difficult to get into, stay into, and do well in, that means I can do well in the world of fashion that shares similar characteristics.
So, fall semester here I come… ready to tackle more long nights, adjusting to the taste of coffee, and pushing myself to my limits– all in an attempt to achieve that 4.0!