This one time, I had a few near-sleepless nights in college. I had anxiety over whether or not it was a good idea to drop out of a class more than half-way through the quarter.
I heard back from a job today.
And, by “heard back,” I mean they “like what they see on my resume” but want to “make sure we are a fit” so they are asking me to fill out a questionnaire.
I open the word doc that I am supposed to fill out and roll my eyes at a few of the questions. They want to know not only my high school GPA and college GPA — I include the latter on my resume — but all the math and verbal breakdowns of my SAT scores. Seriously?? Are my SAT scores that a version of myself seven years ago received going to influence whether or not you even give me a phone interview? Why should it matter?? What if I was an over-achieving prep kid who had no social life and had a 4.0 GPA but grew up to be a drug dealer?
I went back and logged into my college account to look at my unofficial transcript, which not only includes all the courses I took while I was enrolled at the university, but my SAT and ACT scores. They weren’t that great so I didn’t have them memorized.
Scrolling through the transcript, I started to count how many 4.0s I had accrued during my four years of higher education as well as the number of times I made the Dean’s List (not enough because I am hard on myself). Then in the section for “Spring 2006” I spotted the W7 next to “prehistoric life.” I dropped out of a credit/no-credit class on fossils during week seven (out of 10) during the spring quarter of my freshman year. I remember stressing nearly a week whether or not it was a good idea to do that. W7 stands for ‘withdrawal’ and the quarter you withdrew from the course.
This course was supposed to be “easy” but the only coursework that weighed into your grade was the midterm and the final tests. I took the midterm right after Natalie’s death and though I didn’t want to blame that for the reason I did poorly, if I didn’t study because of all of that, maybe it was? I went to talk to an academic counselor to see if it was acceptable to drop the class. I was freaking out. I was pretty stressed out. She told me I could file for a “family emergency type thing” to get the W7 waived from my official record because of my friend’s death. I didn’t want to do that.
The W7 would stay with me forever.
After all, I was in control of how I did on the midterm, not Natalie.
I smiled when I saw that W7 today. It’s still with me and it has no effect. Something that I thought was a huge deal six years ago means nothing now.
Though, if I make it past this questionnaire, the company better not ask me if I ever dropped out of any courses during my time in college.
If they do, I’ll just say “W7.”