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How To Make An Academic Comeback With 3 Weeks Left In The Semester

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

As the end of the semester comes into view, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, swamped in schoolwork, and busier than ever. I have always found springtime to be quite chaotic due to the numerous events that occur. Whether it be housing registration, campus activities, or March Madness at a phenomenal basketball school like the University of Connecticut, there is always something going on.

If your grades have tanked this semester, that is completely normal, and trust me, you’re not alone. Although your current grades may seem irreversible, there are still a few weeks left! You definitely have time to make some improvements with finals on the way.

I will be completely honest and admit that my grades have slipped a little bit recently due to the excitement brought by warmer weather and spring festivities. However, I really wanted to make a change by putting forth an effort to earn good grades while still having fun. Here are some steps I took to approach this.

Set goals

The first step in initiating a change is deciding what you want to achieve. Personally, I wanted to develop more effective study habits. As a STEM major, I felt that I needed to obtain a stronger understanding of my entry-level science courses since I will eventually be taking more rigorous ones.

“Goals” can be as big or small as you want them to be! For some, it may be going to class more often, and for others, it might be trying to get straight A’s. Whatever you choose to work on is completely valid. Also, certain goals will often take time to achieve since new habits don’t stick immediately. The process isn’t always linear, but any growth is still growth.

Navigating this process individually can be challenging if you don’t know where to begin, and that is entirely okay!

talk to your friends & classmates

If you’re struggling in an academic area, chances are the people around you are too. Even though it may feel late in the game, asking for people’s numbers in class is still normal and SO helpful. You don’t necessarily need to form study groups with them or sit with them every single class, but having someone to text on a whim is so useful.

On the other hand, you may know people who seem to do really well in their classes. One of my best friends is very skilled in science, so l turned to him recently and asked, “How can I strengthen my studying?” I was able to talk through the setup of all my classes, and he recommended I do things such as drawing all structures and diagrams, writing out notes on paper, and reviewing my notes after every class.

My point being made here is that you can likely receive advice from the people around you, whether you’ve known them for years or only days. You never know what they might suggest, because what might work well for them could become your newest study habit!

Meet with your professors

One of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to communicate with your professors. Take advantage of office hours, review sessions, or whatever resources they offer. Trust me, I know it can be scary. Introducing yourself to a professor with only a few weeks left in the semester can be a daunting task, fearing what their response might be.

But I’ve done it and can say that my professors have been extremely appreciative of their students putting in the effort. They can help you find new study habits based on the structure of their class, as well as review any material you need help with. It’s their job to help no matter how much of the semester is left.

Honestly, just touching base with them at all shows that you are trying to improve, and that’s incredible. Since you’ve introduced yourself, it’ll be much easier to contact them moving forward.

In certain instances, it may be necessary to reach out to your advisor to touch base on your academic standing. It can be tough to schedule immediate meetings with them, due to the number of other students they need to meet with, but it all depends on the circumstance. They may be able to help you redirect.

cut out time for work

Now that you’ve spoken to several different people, it’s time to put these new habits to the test. I recommend using a calendar of some form, whether that be Google Calendar or a physical planner, and quite literally cut out time for completing assignments or studying.

I recognize that this can be tricky. Random things come up all the time, or maybe you just want to take a nap after class. It won’t always work, but having that block in your schedule telling you to complete that lab report is important. Even if you don’t get to it at that exact time, you know you will need to eventually.

With finals on the way, I believe it is important to start organizing now. With three weeks left, you have plenty of time to study a little bit each day. Most of my classes this semester contain content from over a dozen chapters, so simply reviewing a chapter every couple of days will put you on track by the first week of May.

Mental health above all

Hopefully, I have been able to provide some motivation for your studies in the upcoming weeks. However, the next three weeks will inevitably be hectic as we wrap up our lives on campus. With that being said, academics might not always be our first priority.

Many factors play into an academic career, and some of them are more important than classes themselves — the number one being mental health. No quiz, paper, or exam matters more than your well-being. This can be tough to realize at times when you’re really pushing yourself to get a good grade, but it’s much more important to sleep, eat well, and take care of yourself. Being a college student is challenging, to say the least, and simply being enrolled is such an accomplishment. 

There’s still time to improve your grades! I hope these tips help you in the last few weeks of the summer. We’re in this together.

Celia is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut studying nutritional sciences. She loves concerts, grabbing coffee, and taking spin classes.