Getting UP!


As I’ve mentioned, scholastically I was close to being a year behind.  It was my 3rd year in college, however my student classification remained at Sophomore status.  To this point I had had 2 academic advisers.   The counsel I received from both was shallow to say the least. 

My first advisor explained that because I was a football player, I needed to take a light load of classes (12 hours).  With relevance to college curriculum, because I had no one to offer guidance in this area, I truly thought my advisor had my best interest at heart.  To the contrary I discovered in order to graduate in 4 years, I needed an average of 15 hours per semester.  Why wasn’t this information shared with me?  Was he setting up for failure?  I now wonder did he even think I would earn a degree?   After having problems in a class my first semester, I dropped the course, actually receiving 10 hours that semester.  Soon thereafter I chose another advisor.  He and I had strong inter-personality conflicts.  Our interactions were so much more negative than positive.  Rather than develop the student/advisor relationship a youngster would need, I chose not to seek his advice in times of trouble.  When I developed problems in classes, I dropped the courses, falling further and further behind.

At the beginning of my 3rd year, I asked for the assistance of one of my Criminal Justice instructors (Mr. Michael Maloney).  He was gentleman of whom I could relate.  Like me he was from an urban city, an athlete (former), and our fraternity advisor (Iota Phi Theta).  He became something I never had, but always needed.  A big brother who could provide sound guidance regarding the education process, and further insight as to how to succeed.  Initially after reviewing my academic records, Mr. Maloney’s words were; “ We’ve got to get you out of here”!  He then began giving me the counsel, providing a detailed script, and/or blueprint of what I needed to attain my degree.  We discussed not only my major, but he assisted me in understanding the requirements needed to graduate.  

My new path was set, and this blueprint consisted of taking somewhere between 18 -20 hours of course work per semester over the next 2 years.  In this time I was able to fulfill both my major and Wilmington College core requirements for graduation, however I still lacked 18 hours (another semester) to receive my degree.  After attending Summer school, I received my degree in August of 1988.  However, in the presence of my family, the Wilmington collegiate faculty, and the football coaches I walked with my class that Fall.

In life things may seem so bleak, and disparaging.  It’s not how your spirits got down, it’s the strength, courage, and determination of GETTING UP that truly shows your character and self worth.   My experiences are not lone, and I’m sure a great many have been forced in some degree to Get UP.  Please share your experiences on the this subject.  We can learn so much from one another.

As Always, Love is Love,

Chuk B.







  1. I never believed in a million years that it would take me more than four years to graduate. I was the smart one. I never received/earned anything less than a b in high school. (And the b’s were debatable.) However, after my second year in college my smartness came to an end. Life happened. My junior year was hell. I went from a 3.8 GPA to a 2.1. The child who never had to study now spent her days in the library. After two semesters I still struggled. My advisors were no help. I kept being told to repeat classes. No other alternative was given. I was forced to change my business major into a psychology major. I was losing my mind. I wasn’t going crazy, but I was losing my faith. I was losing hope, confidence, and what I thought at the time, my identity. What do you do when the very thing you are known for is taken away? Like you in football, my thunder was gone. I was dismissed in what was suppose my senior year. Most of my friends were graduating that year. I was being sent back home to Memphis, the last place I wanted to be. Over time I figured out that Memphis is where He wanted me to be. I had no choice but to find out who I was and what other talents I had. Once I was admitted back into UT, I figured out that grades didn’t make me.

    • Charles Brown says

      Believe it or not so many of us have similar stories. We can learn so much from one another. College can be a very different experience. Learning to balance classes (by studying), relationships (with friends and/or aquaintances) can truly be a beast. It seems at some point you decided to evaluate your self worth, and made choices for the better. Also, it seems your choices have made you happy. Getting Up takes courage. Achieveing still, when all may have seem lost builds character. Be proud of all your accomplishments thus far. Thank you for your comments.

      As always,

      Love is Love, Chuk B.

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