I can never forget the day I stood by the Hudson River. By that time I had scored a ‘C’ in a Finance class, my graduate assistantship and Resident Assistantship were in danger because of my GPA dropping below the mandatory 3.0 for graduate studies, which would lead to financial implications including losing housing and meal tickets. And I had created a fake account at the same time to send the code of conduct from the student handbook to few of my fellow students who I thought were targeting me. The IP address was traced.

In short, I was a HUGE mess.

When I stood near the water, I had fleeting thoughts of ending my life so I can get myself out of my current misery, on how disappointed my parents would be to hear fhat their ‘brilliant’ only child ‘failed’ a class and put her student immigration status in jeopardy, and even more ashamed if I returned home an utter failure. It was just a hairline difference between life and after. Not only was I feeling alone but clueless on what I could do next.

To me, my problems at that time seemed massive.

The moment I stepped back from that edge has remained one of my proudest. I realized that my life is precious and worthy of better things. I borrowed money from my cousin for an extra class, worked my butt off and scored three A’s alongside that C so I could maintain the overall 3.0 GPA without losing anything. I apologized to the Dean of Students for sending that email, and tried to do the same to those I had impacted. Some of them have not forgiven me even after 2+ decades since the incident.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future!” I did too.

After that semester the Dean of the Business school called me in. I was terrified imagining he’d expel me because I did ‘game the system’ to maintain my GPA. I walked into his office and without giving him a chance to say anything, I said, “Please don’t give up on me. I will not let you down ever again.” I went on to be remembered as one of the cherished GA and RA of my time, eventually ended up managing budgets in several jobs, and being good at it too. I did take that Finance class again and got a B+. What the Dean said that day once I stopped talking has been etched in my mind.

‘I’ is most powerful.

He stood up from his chair after saying the shortest and most profound sentence I had heard, gave me pat on my back and walked me out. Everyone feared him and he was not known for such soft and empathetic actions. If I ever told anyone what happened in his office that day, no one would believe me. But those 4 words were my life’s validation, the motivation to keep moving and ‘Never give up on ME.’

Published by Quotidian Blessing

InfoSec Director|WIT Mentor-Protege Vice Chair|ATA Convention Women's Forum Chair|Published Poet

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