lavonne holding grad cap

From 2.6 to Dean’s List: My College Story

I like to consider my college academic experience to be a unique one.

It began when I was applying for colleges the fall of my senior year, just like millions of other high school kids across the country. I haphazardly toured private school campuses (New York University, Columbia and University of Miami…) but the thought of making the trip to Tallahassee never crossed my mind. I applied because it was ranked highly in-state, the website looked pretty and all the vlogs told me it was a party school. I was planning on studying communications and figured where I attended wouldn’t matter much.

When January’s Decision Day came around, I crowded around friends during theatre rehearsal to view my application status… only to find that there wasn’t one at all. Although I had checked the portal a few times, I had failed to recognize that my application never went through.

I remember questioning myself. Should I be upset? Should I be mad? There was a rush of emotions happening around me as we all tapped away on our phones. I brushed off the awkward condolences I received, went back to rehearsal and looked up how to apply to the second round of applications.

I never did end up touring Florida State University (FSU)—not until after the second round at least. 

lavonne throwing grad cap Photo by Dana Nicole Once accepted, I was lucky enough to have received the Bright Futures Scholarship along with some additional financial aid. However, I was unlucky enough to have failed two different economics classes in dual enrollment in high school­—at least that’s the one major I knew not to pursue. When I got to campus that summer, I was probably one of the only freshmen to already have a 2.6 GPA, yet the number didn’t really bother me.

What pushed me forward was the advisor I had during orientation who told me that getting into the FSU School of Communications would be impossible if I did not obtain at least a 3.2 GPA. I also knew that I needed a 3.0 GPA or above if I wanted my scholarships to roll over another year.

A few important things happened to me during my freshman year.

First: I didn’t get into the School of Communications. Thanks to the advisor I previously mentioned, this came as no shock to me. Within the week, I switched over to the backup program I was minoring in—hospitality and tourism management. This also just happened to be one of the best hospitality programs in the country, and something I naturally excelled in thanks to my outgoing personality and the passion for creating experiences that I found through theatre.

Second: I started a double major in English (and started following Her Campus on social media). Spoiler: I’m only an English minor now, but that’s okay!

Third: I received the Dean’s List. For anyone who has transferred schools, you know that we have multiple GPAs. There are two most people are familiar with: FSU GPA and Cumulative GPA. Another is the Transfer GPA. Lucky for me, recognitions like Dean’s List are based on FSU GPA rather than Cumulative (which combines both a student’s FSU and Transfer GPA). Clever readers may have already realized by now that while I failed college classes before even attending FSU, my FSU GPA still reflected my overall tendency for good grades. That’s how I ended up making Dean’s List throughout college even though my GPA was initially so low!

In the end, I still think it’s a pretty good story. I made some stupid mistakes but still ended up going to the school of my dreams. The biggest takeaway I’ve gotten from my experience is this: the best kinds of college experiences are not the ones dictated by a number—they’re the ones loaded with memories.

With Seminole Pride, LaVonne

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