Edited by Sanjana Hira
We have all been there. Most of us won’t admit it but we’ve all opened our LMS in anticipation to see a grade that disappoints not only us, but as mentioned in the comments, the instructor too. How do you cope with Professor Mihir and his curve or Professor Kranti and his disparaging quizzes? Luckily, this article serves as an all-encompassing guide!
AVOID. Make sure to avoid all those WhatsApp groups and friends that keep asking you what your midterm grade was. Avoid that annoying kid that speaks up for the sake of a ‘participation grade’. Avoid your parents when they hound you asking whether the grade you received is the same as the class’s toppers grade. Avoid anyone or anything that makes you feel worse about it.
REFLECT. Once you are in your isolation bubble, it’s important you take the time to reflect on whether there was anything more you could have done. Maybe spent an additional hour going through the readings rather than watching Schitt’s Creek? This doesn’t necessarily have to be true. You could have, in all likelihood, done everything to prepare and still been given a difficult exam or an inflexible grading rubric. But do reflect. It could help you avoid our 5-step guide altogether next time.
QUESTION. When you are ready, ask your friends and TAs/TFs, where is it that you can improve. Perhaps, ask them whether there was something you could have done additionally. This will only show that you care about the course and you won’t make the same mistakes again. It also helps to garner brownie points with your Professor!
FOCUS. Step 1, 2 and 3 are about the past. Now, it is time to focus on the present. You, unfortunately, do not have the time to mope around and cry into a bucket of ice cream just yet. That is because you will probably be getting more weekly assignments as the semester continues. The world will not stop because of your bad grade. And neither should you. Get going on the next tasks you have set yourself and take on that incomprehensible problem set like a personal challenge!
LEARN. All you can do, finally, is learn and grow from your mistakes.
Now, after reading this guide, it might seem like I have made your life somewhat better. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There are very few cases where you will be able to follow through with all the steps. You might falter on the fourth, or the third, or even the first. That does not mean you are any less capable as someone who got a better grade than you. Midterms are extremely hard for anyone, irrespective of year, department or intellect. The most important step that you need to follow is not to be discouraged. Everyone misses deadlines and everyone struggles. Try and find a support group and people even more stressed than you. Find the time to relax and play Among Us in the middle of those deadlines.
Trust me, getting a bad grade is part of Ashokan Culture!