Julie Broch / Daily Nexus

To: M <m@umail.uw.edu>

From: Elizabeth Lee <elizabethlee@umail.ucsb.edu>

Subject: Like, actually failing

Dear M, 

So I learned today that I failed my midterm.

Like. F-failed.

Not the Bay Area high school mindset of “Oh my god I got an 80 on the physics test I’m going to fail the class” failure, I mean like the average was an 80% percent, and I got a 58%. So really, it’s an F+, though that is a comfort to absolutely no one — and also not real.

I had a whole mini-crisis earlier of “Am I going to graduate on time? Should I switch my major? When’s the drop deadline again? If I sent this to my dad, would he also think it’s funny or would it just end in a 20-minute lecture over the phone?”

The high schooler in me is probably rolling over in their grave, shocked to the core that my grades are slipping this far. But at the ripe old age of 19, it’s just kind of funny. I can’t bring myself to care. Right now, a C+ is looking like a win. 

I joke now and then that I haven’t known peace since sophomore year of high school, but maybe this should be less of a joke and more of a wake-up call.

From 19 units, two part-time jobs and 20 hours of unpaid lab work, there’s just too much going on in my life to process anything but a general sense of resignation. I’ve jumped straight to the radical acceptance phase of grief, hopping over all those unsavory days of anger and depression and bargaining and whatever else is in the DABDA acronym from PSY 1 (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, for those of you that didn’t know). Alas, the foolish frog doesn’t know when the heat is rising until too late.

Hopefully by the time my prefrontal cortex develops, I’ll jump out of the pot before it boils me alive.

Or maybe I just need a beach day.


With an updated four-year plan,

Liz <3

A version of this article appeared on p. 14 of the May 2nd, 2024 print edition of the Daily Nexus.