A Cry for Help

Jamarcus Watkins, Contributing Writer, Biology, ’19

The time had come, that moment I had dreaded every day of my life, the time to take some initiative. As I made my way into the building, a cold shiver came about me as I started my way up the stairs. My fear and nervousness increased with every step.

On the third floor, I began to think, “Maybe this won’t be so bad? Maybe it’s not as hard as I think it is?”
            I weaved my way through the lab stations, around the shelves of beakers and flasks, and there it was. His office. I approached the door and knocked.
            “Come in,” he shouted.
            “Dr. McCoy,” I said. “I need help. I have to bring my grade up.”
            “Well, Jamarcus, you’re in luck. I’m holding a review session tonight for the test this Friday,” he said.
            Embracing the responsibility of making my own decisions and thinking for myself has never really been hard for me. My mother taught me to be independent. Not once did I have to ask my mother to do anything for me from my sixth-grade year to now. Yes, she has always had my back and been my support system, but she’s not the “hand holding” type that never wants their child to grow up.
            Despite my upbringing, when it came time for me to ask for help, I found it very difficult. Not because I didn’t know how to approach the situation, but the fact that this was something I had never done before. The experience of having to ask was something new and strange to me.

For instance, I knew I was failing the class, yet I never asked questions, I went to tutoring maybe twice a week, and even then, I never asked for help. This makes me seem like I didn’t care to bring my grade up, but I’ve always been independent.
            Going to Dr. McCoy’s office to meet with him was pretty intimidating. I had never really talked with him before, except in class, when he called on me to answer questions. Just the thought of us talking one-on-one about my performance and grade in his class worried me. There were numerous times where I would stop and question whether or not I should turn around, head back to my room, and rough it out.
            The experience as a whole was very humbling. Seeing how easy it is to go and ask for help made me realize that sometimes it’s okay to be dependent on others, especially your professors. This all goes into becoming an adult and growing up. I felt a lot better knowing that Dr. McCoy actually cares about my grade and wants to see me succeed.
            Maybe having to ask my professor for help and going to a tutoring session could have been avoided if I had managed my time a lot better and actually studied. If I put as much effort into actually working to improve my grade as I do in my other courses, I wouldn’t be on the brink of failing.

In the end, it’s not about how you start but how you finish.And there I was, trying to finish it right.

A week after our meeting, Dr. McCoy walked around the room handing back the tests. They were folded to keep the grade a secret. Every time he walked my way, I felt my hands shaking and the nerves kicking in. He called my name and my heart raced. He handed me my test.

I just stared at it.

I waited until I was the only one left on my row before I checked the grade. I slowly opened the first page to find an eighty five in the top right corner.

A slight smile emerged upon my face. I packed my things and headed out the door.

I did it.


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