School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”. Read this week as our writers will share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences. So, come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 NIV)
I didn’t know what to really expect about my first day/year of college. I remember being so nervous about starting college and being a freshman all over again. I became so nervous that I felt physically sick. I was entering a new season and change looked scary. However, I made it through my first day of college and my first year too. I eventually became comfortable and familiar with being a college student attending a university in a city close to home. College was actually not a bad experience, but my grades proved otherwise—I went from a straight ‘A’ senior in high school to a ‘D’ and ‘F’ student in college. It was during my sophomore year of college that I began to experience a setback.
Some time before this setback, I changed majors. I changed my major from Art & Design: Graphic Design to English: Professional & Technical Writing. I only picked graphic design because people kept saying that a career in computers would be lucrative. So, I thought this program of study was best because I could make money and still be creative. Yet, I shifted majors after failing one or two of my graphic design classes, much prayer and a conversation with a stranger that ended with this question: “Why are you working with computers if you love to write?”
After I switched majors, I began to excel, yet my GPA was so low it was hard to recover and so I was dropped. I had been dropped (yes, dismissed) from the university and I also lost my financial aid. I had been dropped because my GPA was continually low, and less than 2.0 and I had been placed on academic probation again although I was working hard and rarely missing class. I was shocked and in dismay. I could have let this setback overcome me; however, within a day of finding out this news I inquired from my school’s officials on how to get back in school. I was told that I had to petition to get reinstated and get my financial aid back. Staying out of school wasn’t an option so I immediately tried to resolve it. I filled out some petitioning forms basically describing the cause for my poor academic standing and why I wanted to get back in, etc. Then I had to visit my dean for the first time. I remember sitting outside her office with the door open, waiting for her to be done conversing with another student. The student, who was a young man, resembled a child sitting in the principal’s office waiting for the principal’s judgment. When done, he walked out and as he passed me, the dean looked at me and said in her motherly tone, “Now what’s your problem?” Her greeting made me so nervous. I went into her office thinking that I didn’t ever want to see her again, especially under those circumstances. I had to explain to her that I had been dropped and the reasons I believed my GPA was low and not improving. I remember telling her it could be that I had been working too many hours and studying less. I had been working two part-time jobs for a while and I remember with one I worked 70 hours in 10 days. I also was trying to still bring up my GPA but I had failed the same math class at least twice.
So she helped me to come up with a plan of action. I needed to study more and work fewer hours. The dean had mercy upon me and reinstated me. Praise God for His mercy! I didn’t just get reinstated, but my school released my financial aid. I had to take student support classes where I was taught how to write research papers, take tests and manage my time. I also sought math tutoring. I was determined to succeed and I excelled in my major. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12 NIV)
There were other trials and tribulations that I had to overcome during college. I had to overcome my fear of public speaking when I took a speech class. My grandmother, whom I shared a special bond with, passed away. I had family issues and past wounds that surfaced that led me to seek counseling. I had a financial aid issue once or twice again. I had sarcastic relatives ask me how long it was going to take me to finish.
When I finally reached the end in 2007, it was a relief and I was at the season of completion. I was doing well, passing all of my classes, and enjoying all things writing related. I had been praying well before graduation. I prayed to the Lord to let NOTHING hinder me from graduating. The day I graduated, I was happy, nervous, and proud of myself. The ceremony was beautiful because I was getting my Bachelor’s degree, and my class was the first class to graduate out of the newly built convocation center. I was also the first person of my family to graduate from college. When I walked across the stage, guess whose hand I had to shake? Yes, it was the dean I had to face in bad circumstances. But now I faced her with a smile and with the evidence that I had successfully made it to the end amidst trials and tribulations.
Going to college was not just an academic experience, but a life-learning one. I learned so much in 7 ½ years of college. I learned to be patient. I learned there is a time and a season for everything. I learned that God’s grace can carry you through. I learned to persevere and that all things are possible with God. I learned that tests and trials define your character and strengthen your faith. We need not just arrive at salvation, but let’s strive for that Crown of Life through maintaining our faith, patience and dependency upon God. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12 NIV)
Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for always finishing what You start and being a God of excellence. Thank You for teaching me patience and perseverance. Thank You for strengthening me and loving me beyond my failures, weaknesses and disappointments. I thank You for every test and trial which strengthens my faith. I thank You, Daddy, for giving me a destiny and I pray You continue me on that path to live and fulfill Your purpose for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to maintain patience and perseverance to the end. Maintain your faith through the tests and trials, waiting periods, and the process. Never give up what God has ordained for you. Hold fast to your faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Trust Him through every test, trial and storm. Ask the Lord to perfect His patience in you and give you an understanding of the lesson behind each test and trial. Know all things are possible with God if you believe.
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. She, like many of her students, is the first of her family to graduate from college. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English-Professional & Technical Writing. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better thru her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.