Just a little less than a year ago, I logged on anxiously to the Internet to see if I had been admitted to the school I imagined was the perfect campus. 

“Congratulations,” the computer screen read. I screamed for a few seconds before returning to read the rest of the e-mail. A little seal in the corner of the window showed that I had also been admitted to the College of Letters & Science Honors Program. This was icing on the cake, and it ultimately sealed the deal on my coming here.

Like any overachiever would, I decided to take summer courses at UCSB before Fall Quarter. I planned to enroll in the honors Greek mythology course. As a good little student, I called an advisor beforehand to make sure that I would be able to take the class. This anonymous figure told me “no,” because there was a scheduling conflict that would prevent any freshmen from doing so. Aug. 1 rolls around, and much to my amazement, there are at least 10 freshmen enrolled in said honors course, myself NOT included. Strike one.

Brimming with optimism and reveling in the perks the honors program brings (peer mentoring, extended library check-out periods, priority registration, smarty-pants bragging rights), I decided to try again. I very carefully chose my schedule so that I would be in an honors course for Fall Quarter. All the while, the program requirement of at least six honors units per year was looming in my mind. Music 15 was on the honors Web site as having a special honors section. I talked to the professor on the first day. I e-mailed him my schedule twice, yet he ultimately chose a time for his section which “most of the interested students can make,” myself NOT included. Strike two.

As Winter Quarter registration rolls around, the pressure is on. English 10 is listed this time on the Web site as having an honors section. Great! I was planning on taking that, anyway. Leaving nothing to chance, I e-mailed the professor during the middle of Fall Quarter to make sure that there will be an honors section. 

“Oh yes,” she says. “Just talk to me on the first day of class.”

So there I was, enjoying my Winter Break, baking Christmas cookies, for crying out loud, when I innocently went to check my e-mail. I found a message from the honors program, with a subject line reading, “Winter 2010 ENGL 10 Honors Section CANCELED.” Once again, I find myself screaming for a few seconds. A panicked e-mail to the honors advisers only yields advice to try another class. One problem: My pass time is over.  Strike three.

The only way to get my six honors units next quarter is to take classes I have no interest in. Frankly, even this overachiever is unwilling to sacrifice that kind of time and money just to get a gold star on a diploma.