How to Bounce Back from a Bad Semester

In the inspirational words of Big Sean, “Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.” While he wasn’t talking about homework specifically, his words can apply to student life. Some semesters are better than others, no matter how much we try to tell ourselves otherwise. When life gets hard and your mom reminds you, “This too shall pass,” you don’t believe her because your tests say the exact opposite.

Things will get better over time, but you can’t always figure out how long the bad parts are going to last until you’re out of them. Sometimes, they last longer than you were prepared for.

While I can’t say I’m a straight-A student, I take it just as personally as the next girl when I get a C or lower on a test—whether I studied for it or not. Last semester was one of my worst, bad test grade after horrible project, after whatever failure came next. I withdrew from all other clubs and activities just to focus on school, but that wasn’t enough. I never went out, I couldn’t see my friends, and to be honest life got quite dark because I was so frustrated with my grades.

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you got bad grades, realized your major wasn’t right for you, or life just blindsided you, hard. But when you start retreating from the normal college life you adjusted to, you should know there is a problem. When your friends tell you they notice your behavior changing, asking where you’ve been, it’s time to take a moment and think.


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This is the time when you need to reevaluate your "plan." We all have one, the major you want, the career you envisioned the life you had planned. Sometimes we think our plans are fool-proof and we know exactly where we are going, but that’s when life shows up to slap you the other way ‘round. I asked myself questions such as, was this really the major I want? Do I want the career I’m setting myself up for? When push came to shove and I had to admit the truth, I realized where I was headed was not where I wanted to go. Things needed to change so I ‘woman-ed up’ to make that change a reality.


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Bouncing back from a rough semester means that you get through the bad one as best you can. When the new semester comes around, that’s when you push yourself. You test to see if the risk of changing your life-plan was the right choice to make. While I can’t guarantee success, I can guarantee growth. We weren’t raised to value failure; we were bred to fear it in its entirety. But college is still our ground to fail before we take real risks. Failure may occur more than you want it to, but you will learn more about your limits, your true goals and exactly where you want to go in the future.

Take the classes you want to take, find the clubs you don’t want to leave, and always make time for your friends. Learn to fail. Take risks. The best way to bounce back from a bad semester is to realize it was a bad semester so you can change the next one.

You're doing amazing Sweetie!