Some of you reading this may have recently found out that you’re academically disqualified. Disqualification can feel punitive, but in actuality, the university is recognizing how difficult school is for you right now. Maybe you’ve experienced unexpected health issues or family responsibilities. Maybe you started college out of high school and struggled to adapt to the university’s academic standards. We understand that these things happen, and as advisors we meet students at all stages of this process.
On Thursday morning I met with Tony, a UO student who was academically disqualified in 2008 and is now working towards reinstatement for fall 2010. For those of you who are newly-disqualified, we thought you might appreciate hearing from someone who understands firsthand what you’re going through.
Tony reflected on his process over the past couple years – from initially getting the news and feeling upset and overwhelmed, to using this time to reconsider his career goals and work on personal stressors that were interfering with school. Now he’s looking forward to returning to UO and completing a major in public relations. I asked him to write out his thoughts related to disqualification and reinstatement:
Thinking back to Spring 2008 when you were academically disqualified, can you describe how you initially felt when you read your letter of disqualification?
Three words come to mind when I think of that moment – embarrassed, disappointed, and terrified. I was embarrassed of what people around me would think about how I could not manage to keep a minimum GPA. I was disappointed in myself – how could I let this get to a point that I could not get myself out? And terrified about how I am going to fix this and how it is going to affect my future. After those feelings stopped, I wanted to get right back into school, then realized I needed more time and that time made everything change for me.
How have your thoughts and feelings about disqualification changed since then?
I still think that disqualification is hard to handle, and no matter what, your feelings are going to be the same at the initial point you read the letter. But that little letter changes everything for you! You have to actually take time to figure out what you want and what matters to you. It’s hard at first, but that letter changes everything and points you in the right direction if you let it.
Looking ahead to the coming year, what are your personal and professional goals?
The time disqualification has given me to really look at what I want has changed my whole perspective. The time off gave me a chance to just be around some friends and their jobs and I realized there are jobs out there that you can enjoy and they become more than just a job. I have realized that going to school is a great opportunity but a responsibility at the same time. Take the opportunity to chase what you want, for me I realized that the time off made me want to go back to school even more. It also reinforced for me my career objective.
If you would like to speak to an advisor about disqualification or reinstatement (and everything in between), call our front desk at 541-346-3211 and request an appointment.