My freshman year was an important learning experience for me, but it wasn't without a considerable price. Two-and-a-half years later, I'm still paying for the decisions I made as a lazy 18-year-old.
I did not take classes seriously during my second semester at BYU (in part because I was discovering how much I disliked computer science) and earned the stamp of "ACADEMIC WARNING." I felt awful, but I figured that I would come back after my mission, study, and return to "good" standing. No big deal, right?
Today a woman came to my Portuguese class and announced that the study abroad program was seeking to fill two openings for classes in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The program would be at the end of this summer and would last approximately six weeks. I requested more information and began the application process when I got home from work.
The more I learned about the program the more excited I became. I've wanted to go to Brazil ever since I began communicating with Brazilians, but before now I hadn't done any more than dream about it. The prospect of studying abroad changed things. It seemed reasonable and within my reach. Could I really make it there by the end of the year, and further my education at the same time? It sounded like a dream come true.
These thoughts were going through my head as I began filling out the application. Then, I read the following words and my heart sank:
"International Study Programs will not accept applicants who are not in good academic or Honor Code standing at Brigham Young University."
Will not accept. Good academic standing. Brigham Young University. The words ripped at me like claws tearing at a healing wound. I understand that the application process is what it claims to be and chances are that I wouldn't be accepted anyway because of my past grades, but to be denied the privilege of being considered was depressing. Maybe I can work something out. I don't know.
In the meantime, I have a GPA to raise. This certainly gives me more motivation to study more this semester.