I did manage to graduate from high school a year early, but that had more to do with the fact that I simply didn't have a whole lot of required high school classes left to take. And looking back, it probably would have benefitted me more to stay in high school that fourth year to help me figure out what I wanted to pursue in my college career. Instead, here's how it went down:
At the time, I wanted to be a marriage and family therapist. But since you can't counsel anyone until you've earned a master's degree in counseling, what I did in my undergrad mattered less. So I chose to pursue a classical (rather than traditional) degree plan in humanities in the undergraduate programs of our local seminary, then planned to continue with a Master's in Biblical Counseling through this seminary after my undergrad. However, the thing about classical degree plans is that they don't cover the same requirements when you change to a traditional degree plan to another school (because guess what? The seminary has one of the highest undergraduate workloads in the country!). So the many classes in history, art, literature, and physical education didn't all transfer into the math, science, English, and government classes traditionally in undergraduate core requirements.
Side note: I switched to a more traditional degree also to pursue a degree in which I could pursue mission work, at which I struggled to find a major that fit into missions until I decided on International Development well into my college experience.
Fast forward to my fall semester of 2014. I was enrolled in my last classes required for my degree. I struggled with classes, as always. I finished the semester and walked the stage at graduation. Little did I know that weeks later, my school was trying to contact me while I was on a mission trip in India to tell me that "there was a problem with grading" and that I "didn't graduate after all". I failed two of my classes. Of all the feelings of academic failure that I felt countless times before throughout my education, this one was the most dreadful. I feared telling anyone about it, much less my parents who had (at times quite begrudgingly) helped foot the bill for my college.
In the spring, I didn't take classes since, quite frankly, I couldn't afford it. Plus, I had been accepted for an internship in a missions organization and would still be working my regular job, ultimately working 50 hours a week. So, I wasn't about to add school on top of all that!
So, here I am, about to start my last semester of college (for real, this time!), and I find out that because I have 190 college credit hours (That's right, 190!), I have an "excessive hours" fee added to the rest of my tuition and fees that doubles my entire bill! (Gee, thanks, University of North Texas. My college experience wasn't quite difficult enough as it is!)
So, there are two reasons (actually three) that I'm sharing this with you. First, if you could pray for me in my last semester, academically and financially, that would be greatly appreciated. And secondly, to offer encouragement to anyone else who struggles in school to keep on keeping on because I know it's tough. (And thirdly, if you've also struggled with picking a major and have credits that don't transfer, as many college students do, don't go to UNT!)