Why Being on AP Isn't as Bad as You Think

When a student starts college at Cal Poly, one thing they never imagine is being on the dreaded Academic Probation. It’s a terribly sucky process, and is often horrible for a student’s self-esteem, especially if they go on AP during one of their first quarters. Speaking as a student who, unfortunately, was placed on AP, I can wholeheartedly reassure those of you who are also in my position: it’s not as bad as you think.

I know that anyone who is currently on AP may be feeling down-in-the-dumps about themselves. I know I did. I went from being a 4.0+ high school student to being placed on AP my first quarter in college, and it was killer for my self-esteem and motivation to flourish. However, I found hope and comfort in those who had also found themselves in similar situations.

Being on Academic Probation is not as bad as you think it is. Cal Poly wants its students to succeed, and they know that the transition to college, and college itself, can be difficult for students. They have designed many different programs, such as the Freshman Success Workshop, to help their students get back on track.

Academic Probation doesn’t mean that you’re a bad student. It does not mean that you are a failure as a person or that you are not meant to succeed in a college setting. Your grades can be affected by any number of external forces, such as personal health and well-being, clubs, work, sports and any other extracurriculars. The college experience is a completely different ball game than high school, and for many students, the transition does not come easily.

Even for second years and upperclassmen, the many new challenges presented by college can be incredibly intimidating. Being placed on Academic Probation does not seal your fate in being a permanently underperforming student, or worse, being disqualified from the school. You still have time to recover from your position and return to the normal college experience, without the red stamp of “Academic Probation” lurking over your shoulder.

Academic Probation is an unfortunate circumstance that can be brought on by many different scenarios in your life. While you cannot let yourself get too discouraged by being placed on AP, you have to take it as motivation to figure out how to handle the intense college workload, and find a way to return to stability and normalcy in your life.