The College Dropout
Sitting in my friend’s garden in Johannesburg, I realized that I just made the biggest fuck up of my life. I was about to fail my first semester into my last year of degree. The plan has always been to finish my degree in 2013 and make my parents proud. Instead I achieved the total opposite.
Before I set off for Johannesburg in February for my last year of full-time studies the goal was pretty simple: study your ass off and get the degree. In 2012 I was working and doing a high school subject because of some technicality about having a first language to get my degree and I hated every minute of work. I knew getting this degree would make things so much simpler.
I hardly got started and already life was throwing me curve balls. I could not find accommodation. My scholarship would cover for tuition and accommodation on campus, but I gave my application in too late which meant I had to look for another place off campus.
My family is not well off. They hardly made ends meet. While I was working, they didn’t have to give me money for anything. This was my last year though. They were willing to dig deep and help me out one last time. The money just wasn’t there though. Fortunately my friend let me sleep on his couch for a couple of months until I found a place.
Getting to campus was a mission since I did not have a car and I did not want to burden my friend any further because he was doing so much for me already. I missed classes and tutor lectures. The big snag came when I didn’t meet the required admission percentage for a certain class and they didn’t allow me to write my final exam after much begging and pleading. The rules were the rules. They aren’t changing it for anyone. And just like that, my world came to a crashing halt.
All I had to do was one thing. Get this degree no matter what. I blamed everything and everyone but myself. I could not believe how much I screwed this up. I hardly made it to the half way mark and already I had to call it quits. When I got back home I knew what was coming for me, but first I had to have one of the most difficult conversion of my life with my folks.
They were very understanding and supportive. It made things a lot easier on me. The next group I had to face was the company that gave me the scholarship and employed me the previous year. My accounting hopes were hanging on a thread.
I remember that day so clearly. I just woke up and did my routinely rounds on the internet. Check Twitter. Check Facebook. Check emails. And there it was, an email from the company saying that they won’t take me back. My employment and my scholarship contract have been terminated and they will contact me with regards to repaying my scholarship. That was the worst day of my life and the start of my new life.