A Letter from a Disappointment

Dear Mom and Dad,

I have never been a totally dramatic, problematic child (I hope). I was not sixteen and pregnant, I never was a truant or received a single detention, I had a 3.89 GPA in high school, I was in my high school band and a leader to others, I had friends, good friends, best friends. Therefore, I am struggling to comprehend how to tell you this:

I am a disappointment and for that, I am sorry. I have failed and for that, I am sorry.

College is not easy. I can affirm that college is not easy because I will be losing my $6,500 Chancellor’s Award renewable scholarship due to an unimpressive GPA of roughly ~2.7. Yes, that’s correct: 2.7. Two. Point. Seven. It may be even lower.

How did things come to this?

I could try lying to both of you and say that the workload was too much, that marching band took all of my time, that the classes were beyond my intellectual capacity, that perhaps I have been struggling with spontaneous dyslexia and can’t read anymore.

I know exactly how and why I failed. Simply, I stopped trying at some point in the semester. One day, I decided to skip a class. The next day after, I didn’t see any immediate consequences. Rinse and repeat. 27 times later, a habit had formed. I was completely aware that this habit had developed but I did nothing to change myself. (That’s the worst part of it- watching my life fall down a chasm like an addicting television show, subconsciously realizing I could simply change the channel and pick myself up at any time.) And no, it wasn’t completely those darned video games I covet or the time I spent with my new friends. The independence I newly acquired shell-shocked me. I could sit in my room and eat ice cream for endless hours and no one could tell me to stop. I could sit and watch YouTube videos for endless hours until the sun rose and set again and no one could tell me to stop. I could choose not to call you because I was embarrassed and disappointed in what I had been doing all semester long, and you weren’t there to tell me to stop. So here I am, writing this letter to you on a blog because now the consequences have arrived.

How mad, upset, sad, seething, disappointed are you?

Whatever you are feeling, Mom and Dad, I feel ten times worse. It all hit me earlier this week, the fact that I have literally ruined my first experience being completely without you to guide me. I had a crisis where I wondered if I was doing the right thing being in college when I am failing so miserably compared to others. I have cried more in this single semester than in my entire life. More than when I watched The Notebook for the first time, more than when Grandpa passed away, more than at Zoë’s funeral. I’m even tearing up while typing this letter.

I never wanted to disappoint you. I hate failure and failure is what I’ve become. I’m one of those failure stories told when all the Korean ladies gather for a night of Go-Stop and gossip about other family’s less successful children. I’m sorry that my current failure will somehow reflect you as parents, even though this is my own fault.

I don’t know what my punishment will be, or if you will even give me one. Honestly, imagining your angry or frowning facial expressions has already made my heart ache. I didn’t imagine this to be my first semester of college, at all (both my good and bad experiences). I just… am sorry. I want to be successful but I haven’t even put in a teaspoon of effort into this goal, and that is the biggest, most disappointing discovery of all.

Do you want to hear the good side to all this?

I have definitely experienced the “finding yourself” phase of college already. Joining the band here was the right move in regards to finding my own version of happiness. Olivia and Rachel are those two girls in almost every one of my pictures and they are the reason why I haven’t completely given up. They are dedicated and hardworking and have forced me some days to actually get up and study and they judge me for not going to class and it’s fantastic and they are funny and happy and they aren’t perfect but that’s what makes them so perfect in my eyes. (I hope to live with them one day, but that’s a discussion for later.) I have never felt so confident about my looks or personality than I have here in college. People like me, people compliment me, people say that I’m funny, I have great hair days (sometimes), and it makes me happy. Not that I wasn’t happy in high school, but I feel accepted and at ease with the people I have come to know.

And finally, I am changing my major to something that will solidify my happiness in the future: music education. It’s probably not a surprise to you, Dad. You have been pushing this music thing for quite a while. I realized one of the reasons why I hated going to class was because I did not give one genuine care about anything I was learning. Chemistry and biology are the basis of bioengineering and I felt like I was being drained of brain cells sitting through these foundation classes. I hated it. I still hate it. On the other hand, I loved every minute spent in Loeb Hall, playing jazz with other talented musicians. I learned more in one semester with Dr. White than I have in all 6 years of pre-college music ensembles. You saw him in action at our Fall Semester Concert, he was amazing. I want to bring that sense of awe to children when I am older. I remember in my senior year asking Mr. Sabotasso, the assistant director of WHS Band, if he could have his dream job, would he? He replied, “I wouldn’t change anything. I love what I am doing right now.” And I believe that his words will ring true for me as well.

So even after all this disappointment and failure, I do have ambition for whatever is to come in this next semester. I have practically hit rock bottom and I can’t, I won’t fall any further. I promise. My adolescent soul-searching has opened my eyes and I am so determined to earn that scholarship back. I want a 3.5 GPA minimum instead of a 3.0 GPA. I want to show my professors that I am a kick-ass student that will attack any assignment and slay it. That way, in the future, I can look back and say that my life from top to bottom was well-lived. I know what failure looks like, and for that, again, I am sorry, but I won’t see or feel failure ever again.

Mom and Dad, I am a disappointment. I am a failure. I am sorry.

Mom and Dad, I love you, please don’t kill me.

Mom and Dad, I am not looking back.


Your Disappointment




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