However, the next semesters are all a bit of a blur to me. My parents were pressuring me to graduate early, so I started taking high course loads. I took 21 hours during regular semesters and six hours each summer term—managing to make all A’s except in chemistry. I had signed up for the “engineering chemistry” instead of “liberal arts chemistry” and had difficulties there—but my major classes seemed to be a breeze. I kept a high enough GPA that my department head kept signing off on my requests to take extra hours, and I did that through the next spring, summer, and fall semesters.
I can look back now and know I was manic—I was taking the lead in every course project I was involved in as well as writing for the campus newspaper. I told one class group in my small group communication class that if they handled the presentation for our final project, I would handle writing the paper on the project by myself—knowing it would be for half the project grade. The paper made a 95, while the presentation garnered an 85. But the paper grade was enough to give everyone involved an A, so they were happy, as was I. I had met Bob my first full-time semester and started dating him my second full semester, and that relationship was going well. I was riding high and felt very confident of my future.
It finally came crashing down my final full spring semester. I had signed up for a jaw-dropping 24 hours—double what was considered full-time enrollment. But I was under enormous pressure to finish in August of 1990. My course of study was causing some concern in the department that I was being given a pass on taking certain courses through special projects instead of waiting until they were offered in the classroom. I had explained my predicament to my department head, who supported my efforts all the way, bucking the wishes of at least two professors that I know of.