Teresa A. Pitts of Los Angeles, Calif., 52, had a bumpy start with education — she didn’t graduate with her high school class and dropped out of college twice. But at 46, after the deaths of her beloved older brother and mom, Pitts went back to school and graduated from UCLA with honors in May. She’s now planning to go to law school and is gearing up for the LSAT. She spoke with Huff/Post50 associate editor Anthonia Akitunde. Here is her story in her own words:
When I was in high school my older brother Greg — who was in college at Dartmouth — had a bout of colon cancer, which I’m told is very rare in someone so young. On top of that I got wrapped up in some unimportant stuff, like issues with girlfriends. I struggled in high school toward the end because I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know what to do about it. What ended up happening was that I didn’t graduate with my class because I didn’t pass English — I had to go to summer school.
Both of my parents were in the Air Force –- they strongly believed in the power of education. I remember my mom driving past the graduation. She asked me if I wanted to go. I remember saying to her, “Why would I want to go and remind myself that I’m a failure?”
My dad still has my cap and gown and my announcements from high school folded up in his drawer. Just seeing the white cap and gown and the announcements that never went out — I know that had to be heartbreaking for him.
Despite not graduating with my class, I was accepted to Ohio Wesleyan University because of my accomplishments in music (I was in “The Who’s Who In Music 1976-1977”).
But when I went there, I was eight hours away from home and I got caught up in the party life. Sometimes I would go to class, sometimes I wouldn’t. I wasn’t really treating school with much respect.
I went through another period of depression. My GPA fell behind 2.0 and I was put on academic probation my sophomore year. The school said I could come back in the summer, but I was very angry then. I needed someone to tell me that you’re not proving anything by saying “I’m not coming back.” It ended up with me not finishing at Ohio Wesleyan — I left in 1979.
CLICK HERE to read story
article courtesy of TheHuffingtonPost.com