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There are a only a few things in life that are more discouraging than seeing your final grades and realizing that you failed or you did not do as well as you expected. But, instead of being sad about it, or in spite of being sad about it, there are steps you can take to prevent your self from falling again and making sure you achieve your academic goals.

1. Identify why you didn’t achieve what you expected

The first step in getting back after a tough semester is figuring out why it happened. Did you lose interest in your program or a particular course? Did you procrastinate for too long? Did you study enough? Once you are able to figure out why you did badly, you can begin to figure out ways to make changes.

2. Speak with an advisor

If you struggled a lot in your first semester, speak with an advisor for your program or an academic advisor. They can they can tell you your options, help you with picking courses that are interesting and keep you on the right track. They are a great (free) resource!

3. Seek help in areas where you struggle

Maybe you struggle with keeping up with your classes, with procrastination, with your mental health. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. The Centre for Student Academic Support (CSAS) offers many workshops about learning strategies you can use and if you are in your first year. They also offer a bounce back program which can help you figure out ways to academically improve.

4. Use your time properly

It is very easy to lose focus, especially considering your phone is always at least two feet away from you at all times. By keeping track of your time and being mindful of how you use time, you can cut out things that take your time away from studying. One tip is to completely shut your phone off; putting it on silent isn’t enough.

Focus on things that are most important to you. If getting the best grade is your priority, put it first before other things. Use a planner or a bullet journal to track the things you have to do so that you are not falling back on assignments and important deadlines.

5. Talk to your professors

Talking to your professors about the course content and expectations required is another way to make sure that you don’t get lost along away. Ask them questions and let them know if you need help from them. (Most) professors will be happy to give you tips; they’ve been there before too!

6. Don’t lose hope

Failing never feels good, succeeding after failing does. If you had a bad first semester, you can always improve in the next one. Have that confidence in yourself to know it will happen and find strategies to help you improve.

Work strategically and you will reach your goals.

Marieta is a Communications and Media Studies student at Carleton University. Loves dancing, writing, reading, photography. She is not a big fan of coffee.
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