I skipped out on my degree. Can I run back and get it?
May 18, 2007 5:31 PM Subscribe
About three years I graduated from a fairly prestigious art college in the USA. At least...I was supposed to have. I fell hilariously juuuuuuust short of graduating, and now I'm feeling the burn.
posted by anonymous to Education (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Thing is, I'm an idiot. I had a science requirement which had to be filled at the last minute with Psychology. This was fine, except depression and other life stuff jumped onto my back and stomped away. It didn't help that I had already graduated - as in, go to the ceremony and see my name read off - and that this was a post-grad summer class. Everything seemed pointless to me. I did fine in the class itself, but I let the "participate in a psych experiment" aspect drift away from me.
At first I had simply forgotten about it, but then I just became lazy and...well, depressed. I wound up not giving a shit about my stupid fine arts degree and working anyway without it. It did not impact my life that I had gone through college and then failed a class on a technicality. Nobody ever asked or asks to see my art degree. I am, as far as I know, not officially a graduate of this art college.
As you can plainly see, that was a mind-blowingly idiotic waste of time and money. I have no excuse for it. I simply kept saying, "oh, I should fix that..." and then not fixing it. And then life marched on. It always seemed more and more stressful to even inquire about it. And now it's the present. And while I'm not directly headed towards grad school - and I'm sure grad schools would ADORE the guy who let his degree plunk out for a lousy few moments memorizing squares or something - it would be kinda, you know, helpful and nice to actually get that degree.
But I am terrified. I am terrified to confront this past, inexplicable failure. I am terrified to have to explain myself to the university so late. And I am terrified that after all this rigamarole, I will be greeted with massive failure: "no, Mr. X, you do not get to reclaim your degree. You do not even get to come back to take and extra science credit to make up for it. There is no sane reason why you wouldn't simply be expelled from any other college for this nonsense. You need to start all over again somewhere else."
If you were me, what would you do? Do I have a chance? How fucked am I? My employment record is uninspiring but existent (although I've done my fun art stuff on the side). What can I do? How should I explain myself? Even in the worst case scenario, where I have to start all over - I mean, what happens there? Will all the credits vanish in a puff of failure?
(And I'm well aware that all this absolute nonsense is tied in with my historically nasty mental health. I'm going to see a shrink after I get my health insurance sorted out this summer, but aside from social services visits from when I was a kid and family members getting treated, I'm not going to be able to present any kind of official diagnosis to my college. Somehow, this feels even lamer - "Hey guys, I was really bummed out and forgot to graduate. Oh, there's no credible record of that.")