Two years ago, when I reapplied to college, I had to write the most humbling letter, requesting that a perfect stranger believe in me. Believe that I was a smart girl. Even though I didn't believe I was a smart girl, I hoped a stranger would. Years prior, I'd spent a semester of college battling depression. The world was dark, and getting out of bed was more work than I thought imaginable. Everything was a struggle. I'd flunked out of nearly every class that spring, as I a blew off papers, class attendance and the like. My grades were dismal. After that semester, I'd dropped out of college and planned to never return.

So, clearly, along with my application requesting to return to college, I needed to explain my GPA of 1.82, if my application were to get any further than the receptionist's trash. Although I knew in my heart I could tackle it this time, on paper it looked like I could not. So, I wrote my heart out. I explained my semester of failing grades, my struggle with depression, my characteristically creative self and my high hopes for the future. I sent my application off, and waited, nervously...knowing deep down I'd likely be rejected.

But somehow, miraculously, someone listened. I'll never know who, but I know I'd like to hug him. Or her. Upon receiving the letter of acceptance into my design program, I cried the happiest tears I've ever known.

**see note below**

I've spent the past year and a half righting my academic wrongs, attempting to prove whomever approved my application right. I would become a smart girl. Depression still follows me, yes. But I've kept it out of my academic world. My second chance at education is much too precious, too easily marred, to allow it to be effected. (Or is it affected? Hmm. I never know.) Sleep, social life, personal creative pursuits have all taken a backseat to the challenge of finally proving to myself that I am a smart girl. A girl who will, eventually, obtain a degree.

When I snatched my mail from the box a few days ago, I discovered a large envelope labeled "DO NOT BEND". It was from my college, and I hadn't the slightest clue what it might be. It was...it was something that would set off Happy Tears: Round Two. Inside, a fancy certificate congratulating me on my academic excellence. It was my first academic award: A Chancellor's Award. I didn't know the things existed, but apparently they do.

I feel redeemed. And I finally believe I'm a smart girl.

Note: The certificate itself was ugly. Not my style. So I made the above poster to hang above my desk. To remind me, humorously, of my success.


  1. Congrats!!! I want one! Haha but I'm still happy with my 3.5 something something. Better than I expected! You is so smert :)

  2. Validation is always nice. Good work, Beth.

  3. go on...be proud of yourself because we all are!

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You should be incredibly proud - all of that work paid off and now you have certifiably proof you can do anything you set your mind to.

  5. Aw, good job! I'm always filled with hope and pride for the world when I hear about compassion for others. I'm glad your "admitter" was open and ready to give you a chance. Then you showed the world what was what and look at you! Congratulations!

  6. Congrats!!! That's so wonderful, and exciting!!!
    Great job :)
    <3 Kiersten

  7. Congratulations! You should be just as proud of opening up to explain your situation and hopes as your new "smert girl" status. Well done!

  8. Hey I ended up getting one too! We is smert together!

  9. Do we now refer to you as Chancellor B? Cause I kinda want to. How about just Chance? Chancey? Either way, congrats on being a smartypants!

    Homer Simpson said it best...I am so smart S-M-R-T!

  10. Congratulations. It sounds like it was a well deserved award. So inspiring!

  11. I just found your blog. It's absolutely awesome.

    Congrats on getting into school, that's great! :) Nice job.

  12. Congrats!! You is very S-M-R-T :)


  13. Huge, huge congratulations you very smart lady!!

    You should be super proud!


  14. can i get a print of this? i love it. the chancellor should be mailing these out from such a fine, creative establishment.

    proud of you beth!

  15. that's fantastic!! you're smert! you should indeed be proud of that accomplishment! it must be no small task to come back from that.. but so glad you have - and very happy someone was kind enough to give a second chance! :)


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