Ventfest: My last Northeastern shuffle

photo1Shortly after attending AB’s graduation last May, when he graduated magna cum laude—you go, babe—I was informed that my graduation year would have different cum laude requirements. Namely, the cum laude minimum would jump from 3.25 to 3.5. No public press release, no explanation, nada.

When I reached out to my J-school dean, to my academic advisor, to my career advisor… they all gave me the “Northeastern shuffle,” kindly shuffling me and my questions/requests along to the next open door (Side note: after starting a new magazine on campus, and successfully weaseling my way out of a study abroad program—complete with lawyer intervention—you’d think I’d have mastered the Northeastern shuffle…but alas).

I had little over a semester to get my GPA to jump to 3.5. Which, I later calculated, would have been impossible in the time allotted. I kept thinking “They can’t do that,” to which AB coolly responded, “They’re a private institution. They can do whatever they want.” To say I was pissed is to completely undermine the intensity of the powerless, David-vs.-Goliath, I-want-to-freaking-smack-my-school-upside-the-head hatred that I was not-so-successfully trying to quiet.

For starters, I would be graduating only 7 months after AB’s class, arguably competing with them for jobs, and someone with the same GPA as I would be able to list cum laude on the resume. Secondly, it’s about the damn principle of the thing; don’t go changing shit behind my back, not telling me in any sort of respectable manner, not providing any sort of explanation for why this move might be a strategic decision for the university (or whatever), and not granting me the respect of listening to my frustrations. And thirdly, I graduated with a 3.48 GPA which is, like, thisfreakingclose, right?

Once I realized my efforts and As were for not (sort of), I pulled a DGAF moment, finished a glass of champagne with my parents via Skype, and washed my hands of the Northeastern shuffle forever. Then, last week, my mom sent me an email with pictures of my degree. And then texted me to check my email. And then called me. Twice.

Apparently, the blurry picture of a form letter which she sent outlined how I Northeastern had decided to grandfather my class in. When I looked closer, I realized the degree with my name on it had a very subtle cum laude underneath. Bow. Chica. WowWow. Never mind that I was thisclose to magna cum laude (under the old qualifications) Whatever, I’ll take what I can get. I’m finished. And proud! Cheers, friends.

  1. And you still really did love your school. But the principal of it matters. Shame on #Northeastern bureaucracy and kudos to you!

Post a comment

Hi, I'm Marian.
By day, I'm a PR maven with a nerdy affinity for research and branding. By night, I'm an explorer; I delve into books, food, design, and the murky waters of my own psyche, then share my musings here.





Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: