Friday, December 15, 2017

The End of This Journey

I didn't pass. I needed a 78% or better on the final exam to stay in the program. I passed my first two exams but the third final exam -- which had straight memorization and was cumulative of the entire semester -- sank me. I received a 63%. I studied for days. I spent hours on the notes... on highlighting important passages... going over everything on the study guide... creating flash cards. It didn't help one bit. It was the lowest exam grade I received in any of my 3 courses; worse than the exams I took when my mental fog was at its worst. I didn't understand how the grade wasn't higher. I knew the answers... but perhaps I didn't really know them.

Goodbye, SLP degree... I was only 2 short classes away from completing you. It's a tough pill to swallow. I worked hard. I'm up to my eyeballs in student loan debt with no career in the field I studied. I didn't fail the class either. I received a 78.5% as a final grade -- a C+ -- but the program has a B- or better policy.

Like I said, I worked hard. I pushed myself beyond my limits, especially when I was bed-ridden with chronic fatigue and the accompanying symptoms for days (even weeks) at a time. I did ace one course and I received a B- in the allegedly "second hardest" course of the program. I'm proud of that.

I'll be honest, I fear what people will say and think. "She was sick and she still risked it and got herself in all that student loan debt for nothing?" "Poor girl, she's so sick... she can't do anything..."

I don't want to be pitied... which is all I'm getting. I would love to have someone tell me, "Are you kidding me? You did well considering your circumstances! You should be proud of yourself!" Not one single person had said that to me... so I say it to myself.

I started the 54-day Rosary novena knowing this could happen -- that I could potentially not pass. I asked Mama Mary to intercede and help me pass... but only if it was God's will. If not, I asked her to help me find a job that I could do while in recovery from my health problems. I still have hope that this will turn out well.

I didn't cry when I found out I didn't pass. I actually felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. As some of you regular readers may recall, I've said (for months) that I didn't feel called to continue down the SLP path but that I would do it if it was God's will. I would break down in tears throughout the semester but I kept going because I wanted to show God that I trusted Him either way.

I'm not going to question God over the outcome. I know that this semester was all part of His plans for me. I don't know why they were but they were. When I felt broken down, not good enough (for anything), overwhelmed, and utterly defeated, I would release those emotions in the forms of tears and then I would wipe them away and I kept going. I would hit wall after wall, but my trust in God kept me going.

"Your will be done." I still say this aloud. I said it before I took my exam. I said it after I found out I wasn't going to continue in the program. As I kept reminding myself, if it was His will, I would've passed and continued. However, it doesn't seem to be so now it's time for me to move forward... as soon as I figure out what that direction is.

I thanked Mama Mary and the saints who interceded for me during the semester. I thank you all for your prayers. All the prayers said for me didn't go unanswered; I felt the courage and the strength to continue when I could've easily given up. I didn't give up and I went down swinging. I also thank Mama Mary for interceding since I did ask her to help me see whether God wanted me to continue down this path or not. I got my answer, right? :)

As my mom says, "Dios aprieta pero no ahorca." The rough translation is, "God squeezes but doesn't hang." Meaning, there will be rough times but you're not without hope; sort of like "When He closes one door, another opens."

I'm excited to see what He has in store for me. Surprisingly, not having any clarity is not making me nervous. The unknown -- especially when it comes to financial situations -- had always been panic attack-inducing in the past but that's not the case this time around. I'm actually happy and eager to go forward, even if it means starting from zero.

I'm very grateful that this all happened while it was still Advent season because it goes along with my plans to wait, reflect, and slow down to breathe. I'd been neglecting all my Advent reading for the past week and a half because of final exams. Now I get to spend the next week and couple of days getting back to what I wanted to do: partake in the Advent season. I did slow down and reflect during the past couple of weeks but not as much as I wanted. 

I'm going to take the next couple of weeks (2-3, maybe) to just enjoy the season. Advent and Christmastime are my favorite times of the year so I'm going to put everything behind me and focus on the now... and the reason for the season. 

This is the end of the SLP journey... but it's also the beginning of a brand new journey that is filling me with optimism, hope, and trust. I look forward to sharing what He has in store for me in the upcoming weeks. ;)

That's it for now. I just wanted to get this out of my system. I have many more posts in mind that I will be writing in the next couple of days. I'm going to be focusing on writing in the next couple of weeks (I knew St. Francis de Sales was randomly popping up in my life for a reason) and this blog will help me get back in the groove of that. :)

Again, thank you all for your prayers. Though the outcome wasn't what we had wished for, it got me through this semester in one piece -- health and sanity intact. :D

As always, thanks for reading and may God bless you all! :D


Catherine Hawthorn said...

As much as I don't like to hear that you didn't pass, I'm glad for you Emmy Cecilia! I've been following your story for some time, and offering up prayers for you.

Would you mind if I share a personal story with you?

I was going through my own academic struggles, similar to your SLP stuff, when I tried grad school this year. I was divided on whether to go on to grad school, as I didn't "need" it, but it had a lot of advantages that I felt I needed. But once I started, my concentration and retention levels were going downhill. An A student in undergraduate was getting C+ in her classes. Not to mention having to deal with a bad living situation, a constant need to escape her boring job and hard classes and crying jags every 3 days.

In October, I made a 2 novenas to St. Dominic of the Rosary and St. Philomena, asking for clarity and support through one of the toughest 2 weeks I had experienced. It was right afterwards that I started having emotional breakdowns every day to the point people started to notice. After talking with advisors for several days, I finally left the school, and it felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders. I started smiling again!

I've now been out for 2 months and like you, am waiting to see where the Lord is leading me.

I'm glad to know and support someone else is going through a similar stage in their life. Here's to a bright future and a quick riddance of our crushing student debt!!!

I'll keep praying for you!

Catherine Hawthorn

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, Catherine. I'm glad I'm not the only one in the boat but I'm terribly sorry you know what I'm talking about. I will be praying for you as well. Thank you for sharing your story with me; it helps me stay optimistic about there being a light at the end of this tunnel.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to say, it too: You should be proud of yourself! You persevered despite difficult circumstances. Go, you! I admire your persistence.

No time is wasted. You were following what you believed was God's will. Each circumstance in life teaches us something and builds virtue. I believe that God will allow you to use the knowledge you learned in the program somehow in the future.

AnneMarie said...

I am so impressed with you for all of your hard work and perseverance! I am always in awe of what you do in the midst of so many challenges and obstacles. I hope that you have an awesome rest of your Advent!!!!! I'm glad you'll be able to finish off Advent and celebrate Christmas with the clarity that you won't be pursuing SLP anymore.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, Lianna!

Also, amen! I'm sure I'll look back and be grateful for the experience, more than I am now.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you, AnneMarie!

Here's hoping the rest of the Advent season goes better than the first (nearly) 3 weeks. I fell behind on my Ven. Fulton Sheen daily Advent meditations so I hope to get back into that tonight.

Dyrfinna said...

um you ARE amazing! you've done incredible things and persevered through some incredibly difficult times, and that really is nothing short of amazing. I'm so glad you feel relieved of a burden. ♥ may your Advent be full of hope for the future!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Thank you! And, yes. I feel much lighter, happier, and even more focused on God than I did while I was in school.

Roger said...

Sorry you weren't able to complete the program. Can you finish it at another, and maybe less expensive, grad school? If so, and the area is something you have a passion for, you might consider doing it.

The law school I graduated from was not where I started. I actually washed out after my first year at another school in San Diego by falling slightly below the overall grade point cut off to advance to the second year. A bad grade in one class had sunk me.

After taking about a year off, a relative of mine convinced me to go to the small law school in OC I eventually graduated from.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Unfortunately, I don't feel called to this career. I don't have a passion for it. I'm sure if I did, I'd do it elsewhere, even if it meant starting over which is most likely because most SLPA programs require you to take all their classes at their school to get the degree.

Personally, it's not worth the health issues its brought up over the 3 years. It's quite obvious to me that God seems to be pulling me a different direction so I'm going to trust Him.