College Student Goes Crazy Waiting For Final Grades To Post

I’m sitting here like a good graduating college student, applying for every job I can find that even remotely interests me on Indeed, waiting for my coffee water to boil. I’m doing the best I can to pretend that I’m not worried about my final grades, writing about my upcoming college graduation in all my cover letters, using the most declarative sentences possible.

Dear Interviewer,

I’m Eric Shay Howard and I’m applying for your Administrative Assistant position. I WILL graduate in May 2017 with a BA In English. I know I will. You can bet on it. It’s pretty much a for sure thing, although I’m still waiting for my grades to post. BUT I’m only worried about one class. It was a really hard class about British Literature. BRITISH LITERATURE! I know, right? But I did all the work in it and I’m thinking it’s pretty hard to fail an English class if you at least do all of the work. It’s not like I’m a math major or anything.

Anyway, I’m looking to move off of campus because, well, I can’t be on campus anymore. I’m graduating! I’m really looking forward to getting a real big-boy job away from campus. One for like at least $12 an hour. Do you KNOW how amazing that sounds? Don’t get me wrong, I loved my student jobs. They gave me A LOT of experience being professional-like. Plus, none of my bosses really even cared if I sat at the desk and did my homework for four hours, because to be completely honest, nothing ever happened at any of my student jobs. I’m excited to have a job that MATTERS. A job where THINGS HAPPEN. That’s why I’m really looking forward to being a real administrative assistant. Or a receptionist. Or anything you have for me really, as long as it pays me $12 an hour. I’ve done the math and that’s how much I need at 30 hours a week to be able to keep my carefully-curated-over-my-5-years-as-an-undergrad lifestyle.

Anyway, administrative assistant. Job. $12 an hour. English degree. An adult now. You get the idea. Give me a job.

Super Sincerely,

Eric Shay Howard
eric [at] ericshayhoward [dot] com
(But if you go to the website, don’t read my blog.)

Yeah, I’m super very almost certain that I’ll graduate.

I did pretty good on that last paper in that one class that I’m worried about. And I know I did horrible on that final 10 page paper, but I had an A in that class before I turned it in. I mean, it’s just 45% of the final grade. I’m not a math major, but that doesn’t seem like it’s THAT big of a deal. So there’s no reason to sit and think about what I’d have to do if I did fail a class.

But if I did, I’d have to retake one, if it was even offered in the fall. I’d have to pay out of pocket for it because I’ve taken the max amount of student loans every year because I’m a first generation college student from a very low income family. I’d have to tell my big-boy job that I’d have to retake one class and would either need to schedule around it with them or schedule the class around work. I’d also have to actually come back to campus a few times a week. It’s a beautiful campus, and MOST of my professors are awesome, but I really don’t fit in on a college campus. I’m 30 and no one ever wants to hang out with me and the food choices are outrageously priced. But it’s alright, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to pass everything. How could I not? HOW COULD I NOT?

My coffee water boiled and now I’m letting the coffee brew in a French press for 4 minutes. That’s 4 minutes to apply to another job. My choices are starting to get pretty limited, because I’ve already applied to 10 of the Administrative Assistant position jobs last week, and 3 this morning. Some of them are too far away for me to reasonably travel to by bus, so I might as well skip those. Some of them say that I may be required to run “errands” as well.

Errands? Seriously?

Well, that’ll be difficult without a car. Or a license. Or peripheral vison. Maybe if I get a good enough job and save up for it, I can get in that program where they give me a Mr. Magoo car with a prescription windshield. I’d try the disability route again, but that took 2 years and I’ll just get denied again anyway.

Shit. My coffee has been brewing too long and I still haven’t applied for another job. Maybe I should check on my final grades again. It’ll just take a sec.

Still nothing posted.

I’m going to fail. I know I am. I might as well not even apply to anymore stupid jobs. I’m going to have to come back to campus. I hate everything. I hate everything just about as much as I hate this bitter-over-brewed coffee. But most of all I hated that British Lit class. It really was the hardest, most awfulest, britishiest class I’ve ever taken. American Literature is no better. Literature. What the hell was I thinking being an English major? I just made up the words “awfulest” and “britishiest”. I’m a horrible English major and horrible writer.

I can’t do this.

I should just go back to working at Subway. Now THAT was a simpler time. I didn’t have skills and I only did what people told me to do. And I got to eat a free 6-inch sandwich everyday. And I didn’t have to pay for soda all day. Man, that was the life. But no, I’m better off now. Even if I don’t graduate, I went through it and gained valuable experience that will help me to better myself and my career. I just wish I knew what my career was going to be. AND I WISH THESE PROFESSORS WOULD POST MY STUPID GRADES SO THAT I CAN MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE.

Wow, look at that. The only grades that have posted so far are the grades that I already knew I had because those grades were posted on Blackboard. It’s like a vicious cycle. I’m only ever going to learn what I already know for the rest of my life. It’s the truth. COLLEGE IS A TRAP. DO NOT GO! SAVE YOUR MONEY AND YOUR SANITY!

I should’ve majored in Communications.

Or psychology. Or Sociology. One of those. I took an Anthropology class once. It was interesting. I loved looking at all the other countries’ problems and saying “neat” afterwards. But nope, I picked English as a major and learned about colonialism.

Here’s something they don’t tell you; even though your degree says English, it’s actually a degree in Colonialism. Or Post-Colonialism. Or Colonization. Sure, it starts out simple You’re reading about white people being white and being in love. Then maybe even one of those white people writes a poem about black people and you’re like, “aww!, yay! civil rights!” Then you maybe take an African American literature class and you feel good because you’re learning about something that’s super important. Then you start to hear about colonialism. It will start small at first. You’ll pretend to know what it is for a long time. Then by the time you’re in your last semester, colonialism will veer its ugly head and you won’t be able to turn back around.

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that you learn in college from then on will only be able to be linked to colonialism in your brain.

You won’t ever be able to NOT talk about colonialism again in some way in everything that you do. And all the super important civil rights stuff you learned about black people and women and gay people and all the other minority groups will get tied to colonialism somehow. And you’ll begin to question everything that you say, do, eat, and drink. You’ll wonder where your coffee actually came from, wonder how many people suffered as a result of colonialism before this coffee got to you. And then you’ll hate yourself for not wondering the same thing when you learned about African American literature or women. And you won’t even know if that makes any sense.

My coffee cup is empty, my grades still haven’t posted, and now I’m just fussing about colonialism, so I guess I’d better go. I guess that’s enough job hunting for one day. I have an unofficial transcript to continuously hit the refresh button on. I should title this “College Student Goes Crazy.”

I’d certainly appreciate any encouragement in the comments below about my foggy future. And I’m sorry if I offended any minority groups. I’m JUST SO VERY UPSET RIGHT NOW. But I’ll be fine. I’m super very almost certain.

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Indianapolis. He's a teacher, a literary editor, and writer. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University. He also has MBA and BA degrees.


  1. Keep applying for admin positions and know that you WILL get one. If for some reason you have to retake Brit Lit, take it in the summer. It’s one class, your new employer will SURELY allow you to schedule in, especially if you take it at night. Summer sessions are shorter and easier.

    Or don’t worry about it, ‘cuz you’re gonna GRADUATE!


    1. Thanks, Emelle! Lol my boyfriend keeps sending me jobs to apply for on Indeed, and I let them pile up and apply in bulk before bed.

  2. Hi Eric. I’m so feeling your tenseness. I feel that if anyone deserves a good grade it’s you. Perhaps you should apply for jobs in which your degree would be useful, valued. I know things are hard at the moment but don’t undersell yourself. This is my attempt at being supportive and I hope it is and not causing stress. But you need to believe you’re great, to convince future employers.
    Good luck. Hope everything works out!!

    1. Thanks, Aaron. I’m probably just being overly dramatic for no reason, haha. I just wish they’d hurry up. I might’ve learned a lot but my patience hasn’t improved much.

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