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Her Story: How to Cope When You Didn’t Get the Grades You Wanted

Whoever said there is a straight path to success lied to you. Believe it or not, there is no straight path to anything and you’re bound to go through obstacles, face challenges, fail and succeed. As the semester finishes and professors are putting in your final grades, you realize that this semester wasn’t your best. I can relate, trust me when I say this, my first semester in my first year of college went terribly. I came in with a 4.0 GPA from high scho , and got a chance to be a part of the Honors College. Along with being in honors courses, I was in a very demanding major, engineering. With the maximum number of credits, I had a challenging time balancing my academics and my extra-curriculars. I thought I was good at time management until I saw that I wasn’t giving an equal amount of attention to my subjects. I felt overwhelmed and pressured but, I realize that I can no longer sit around dreading and obsessing over my grades. I learned some valuable ways to cope with the grades I didn’t want and I’m here to share them with you!

Give yourself a break. Maybe you tried your best this semester, or maybe you didn’t. Now is the time to think about changing your study habits and learning time management skills. Use whatever happened in the past to motivate you to not repeat the same mistakes. Don’t let negative energy make you think that you’re anything less than your career aspirations—you’re born to achieve your dreams!

Get organized. Yes, this means buying a planner and recording every date you have a test or an assignment that is due. Then, plan each individual day by writing what you want to accomplish for that day. Break major assignments into sections so you can work on it a little each day to avoid stress and the feeling of exhaustion in the end. Same goes for tests, study a chapter or a lesson each day so you don’t have to cram the night before. Try to finish your assignments a day before they are due so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, find on-campus tutoring, or form study groups.

Photo taken by: Michaela

Set goals for yourself. This is so important to do. Without goals, you may find yourself feeling lost and not knowing what to do next. Your goals can be as simple as to finish an essay by the end of the week, or more future oriented such as becoming the next fashion designer! No goal is impossible and it’s important to always be motivated. There is no doubt that low grades hurt your confidence a little. Sometimes we try our best, only to get results we are not impressed with—but that’s okay. The most important rule to success is doing your best and learning from your mistakes. It’s a challenge and it’s a learning process.

Never compare yourself with others. I have met so many other students with the same coursework but they have better grades than me. Does that mean they are better than me? No. It just means maybe they know how to study more efficiently than me, or that subject is their strong point. No two students are the same and you should only strive to be better than yourself yesterday!

Photo taken by Sebastian Voortman

Give yourself time. Have fun and learn to manage your time. Academics should always come first but don’t let that stop you from having fun with your friends on the weekends! Work hard and reward yourself to avoid burnout and keep a positive attitude. You only get to live these college years once and it’s okay to slip sometimes, as long as you can pick yourself up!

I wish nothing but the best for you and I hope to encourage you to see your low grades in a more positive light. Remember, always do your best and never lose motivation. Grades do not define your worth. Good luck!



Cover Photo taken by Tim Gouw

New Yorker and a passion for tech and fashion.
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