Maveth Posted May 24, 2015 Share Posted May 24, 2015 I am the first in my family to go to college, which if anyone knew my family, is really no shock. Autism, Asperger's and ADD run heavily in the familial veins, and I'm struggling to not fall back on self pity and excuses why I can't be just as good as anyone else. I'm failing. I did wretchedly in high school, scraping by with somewhere between a B or C average, but I did extra work to get both technical and college prep course seals. I spent the next 5 years after graduation wallowing in crappy jobs that did nothing to further my ambitions and sinking more and more into a depressing hole. Unaided by my family who neither had the money nor interest in furthering my terrible track record of education, I eventually phased into the qualifications as a "independent" student at the age of 24 and was able to get loans without my parents' income being considered. I applied to my undergraduate college nearby, gambling on being accepted. If I wasn't, I decided, I wouldn't bother applying anywhere else. By some miracle-esque, skin-of-my-teeth sort of deal, I somehow got in. I thought maybe I was just pessimistic. My parents said "they probably lowered their standards"... prompting me to immediately sink into paranoia and wonder if maybe I wasn't actually good enough to be there. My first semester was pretty much me struggling to understand how college works, having no friends and being too stupid to ask anyone for help. That pretty much encompassed the next four years as well. I switched majors within two semesters, which was not really too bad a setback. However, my college Anthropology department was suffering from a lack of faculty. My professors were nearly always temporary imports from overseas, one year contract professors that never came back, or about to retire and live in the Bahamas. If I had the foresight and knowledge to ask them for letters then, I doubt it would have helped much, since most college require a specialized form. The ones that weren't either intimidated me so much I couldn't talk to them or had such high expectations that I felt it was futile to ask for recommendations with my horrid attendance, even if my work was above average, according to them. I made A's and B's on my papers, but they nearly always reduced the grade for being late or missed days, even with my doctors notes. The other problem was in exams, where if it relied heavily on memorization, I did horridly. I cannot memorize anything easily. It takes ten times as long to remember a fact and even then I second guess myself. Papers? I usually can comprehend things better when it's right in front of me and be able to argue it effectively in a research paper. I worked for the library for five years and I'm familiar with every aspect of research, but I can't really reflect that because I never had work published. I did well for a few semesters, but then my depressive lack of self confidence started to take it's toll. I was struggling to keep my apartment, had no vehicle, was dependent on my student job paying minimum wage to make ends meet... my attendance tended to suffer because I was unable to manage a second job within the narrow space in my schedule and ended up oversleeping or being so sick from stress I gave myself ulcers. My GPA hovered around 2.6 after a drastic drop from one failed class, when I didn't realize I had the option to drop it. After that, it was all down hill. I lost all faith I was going to amount to anything. I ended up having to check myself into a clinic for two weeks to make myself stop feeling like a failure and a coward. I finished my last class for my degree. I'm now in the limbo where I'm waiting for my graduation application to be approved. My advisor retired and since his classes were mostly geared toward memorization, I did pretty horribly on his tests and he pretty much told me to my face he couldn't write me a strong recommendation. He's one of the two anthropology professors remaining... The second professor told me he wouldn't write recommendations for people who didn't stand out, do community service or any kind of group activist participation, which unfortunately, with me struggling just to keep myself housed and fed working two jobs, was just not an option. I didn't have the time to picket the power company for the right to be worthy of his praise. I did manage one good recommendation from a professor in another field, but I doubt any Anthropology graduate program is going to look at my application if they see zero anthropology related recommendations. I sit here with a GPA of 2.5 now, still waiting for my degree to be approved, and feeling absolutely hopeless of getting in anywhere without better recommendations. I attempted to get into an online program that didn't require the GRE, because that costs money, and was rejected because my application was weak. I know taking the GRE is a possible boost, but beyond that? What else? I am pleading... What can I do that doesn't cost a ton of money to make my application stronger? My loans are maxed out... anything more would be out of pocket. I don't qualify for any scholarships that I know of, thanks to a low GPA and lack of anthro-related references... Bottom barrel, last inch of rope... how do I pull myself out of this flaming ditch? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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