Everything is Negotiable

Truth be told, I did not have the grades to get the scholarship I currently have.

I fell short by 1% in one of my required courses, english.

Not receiving that scholarship meant I could no longer afford my education at Queen’s.

I worked quite hard to get admitted to Queen’s – while working part-time.

As an immigrant, education was the only tool I had to improve my family’s living standards.

The frustrating part was that I missed by 1%. A simple human error could have accounted for that.

After all, grading is only an estimate of a person’s understanding. Its far from perfect.

Upon consulting with the academic counselor, I was given two options;

  1. Go to an alternative University
  2. Repeat the course during summer and re-apply for scholarship

First choice was not an option as education from my preferred university was my top priority.

Second choice was not an option as I wanted to work full-time during summer to help pay the bills at home.

Thus, I had to find another way or forget about Queen’s.

I went knocking on my teacher’s door. “Miss, what can I do to get a 1% increase in my grade?”

When I tried to make a point about the grading nature of the course she stopped me …

Long story short, she said, No.

Upset from the rejection, I went to the department head. Another No.

Devastated, I decided to go back to my academic counsellor. Another No.

With little hope, I called up Queen’s university. They said, sorry. No.

I still remember how paralyzed I felt.

No one was willing to help me.

“Rules are Rules” they all said.

Somehow, with some hope left, I decided to walk into the principal’s office unannounced.

After an hour long chat, I walked out with a YES!

She realized the error factor in grading could have accounted for that 1%. Furthermore, I was an honor role student.

Not only was I able to get into the university I want, the experience itself taught me a wealth of lessons to apply in the coming future.

Today, I am enjoying every second I spend here at Queen’s University.
This experience taught me the following important lessons;

  1. There is always another way. Find it.
  2. Pretty much everything in life is negotiable.
  3. Never take NO for an answer.
  4. Persistence Pays Off.
  5. Don’t let someone else shape your future.
  6. Rules (not laws) are meant to be broken.


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