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I May Have Failed Stat 111 Freshman Spring, But I’m Still a Bad Bitch

Photo by Chase Sutton / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Look: I’m a bad bitch. An extremely bad bitch. When I walk down the street I turn heads. People I walk past whisper to each other, “That is the baddest bitch I have ever seen,” just before they collapse onto the street, overwhelmed by my power.

But even as bad a bitch as I am, I mess up sometimes. I’m going to admit something to you, my beloved readers, that you certainly would not have expected: I failed Stat 111 freshman spring.

If you can't believe how this could have happened to a bad bitch like me, it's understandable. I'll try to break it down for you. 

I’m a bad bitch, obviously, but not a good-at-math bitch. I hadn’t taken math since junior year of high school and, since I took a gap year, it had been two whole years since I’d had to remember any formulas or do any arithmetic whatsoever. I was the last bitch on earth who should have skipped every class after syllabus week. I bombed the midterm, and my passing the class totally hinged on the final exam, which I was not ready for at all.

Even though my grades were pretty much in the toilet, I convinced myself that I’d be able to cram in the week before it and pull off a miracle. “I’m a bad bitch, I got this,” I would tell myself constantly, hoping that I would start to believe it if I repeated it enough. I believed the bad bitch part, obviously, because it’s practically a law of physics. Some curriculums have started to teach “Arman is the baddest bitch there is” alongside Newton’s laws of motions (it was only a matter of time).

But I wasn't sure about the "I got this" part. As the final drew nearer I started to realize, deep down, that I was probably screwed. And even that I might, maybe, hypothetically, not be the bad bitch I always thought I was.

Wow, that was hard to type.

I took the final. It was bad. Like, as bad as I am. I walked out of the exam, sat down on one of those benches by Van Pelt, and stared at my lap, blankly, for an hour. I’d had rough exams before, but this was unprecedented. I felt like a total, absolute, abject failure. Not like a bad bitch at all.

Anyways, not to flex or anything, but I retook the class sophomore spring and got an A, and I’ve done well enough in my classes since that I’ve managed to salvage my GPA. But the F remains on my transcript.

It’s been two years now, and it still stings. I constantly worry that any recruiter looking at my grades will throw out my application immediately. “Is that an F? No way this guy is a bad bitch,” they’d say as they chuck my resume in the trash. It’s April of my junior year, and I still haven’t found an internship for this summer. It’s hard to shake the feeling that my phat F is part of the reason why.

But I haven't given up on my bad-bitchness.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that success in college determines future career success. Past that, it’s easy to feel like career success is equivalent to success in life. Our generation is the least financially stable in decades. The stock market crash of 2008 weighs on us (even though we were like 10 when it happened), and we’re convinced that if we don’t get a high-paying job lined up senior year, we won’t be the bad bitches that we always thought we would be.

None of that is true. Life is about so much more than our grades or how much money we make after graduation — not that our grades determine how much money we make after graduation, no matter what we feel. Having a successful career is much more correlated to whether or not you are a philosophy major.

In the two years since I failed Stat 111, I’ve learned not to tie my self-worth to my academic or career success, and I’m convinced that’s why this semester has been my best at Penn so far. I’ve never been happier, and I've definitely never been badder.

I may not have found an internship for this summer yet, I may not have any idea what I want to do after graduation, and I may not have a perfect transcript, but I’ll be fine — and so will you. Because I’m an incredibly bad bitch, and you are too.