What to do when you don’t get the grades you wanted


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Kellsie Kennedy

The first semester of my freshman year I got my first ever C, and I cried. A year later my semester GPA dropped to a 2.4, and I cried again. The struggles I had with my GPA were some of the first instances of what I saw as personal failure, and I am here to tell you that it will be okay.

There are a few key thoughts to keep in mind when you do not get the grades you want. First, evaluate (as unbiasedly as possible) if it really matters. Maybe this is your first B and you feel like you have failed. Maybe you actually failed the class. Either way, think in the long term and see if this grade is actually worth being upset over (because most of the time it is not).

If your grade is justifiably damaging to your college career, consider a couple things. Do you care enough about your major to struggle in it? I was not interested in my classes, so for me it made more sense to change my major. Other people I know have retaken the class that they failed and, besides bumping back graduation a little, have done really well in their other classes. No mistake is so large that you cannot eventually come back from it. Just know yourself and know if that bad grade may be a sign that you are not interested in the material.

If you decide to stay in your major, develop a list of how you plan to keep that bad grade from happening again. Are you developing a relationship with your professor(s)? Are you paying attention and taking good notes during lecture? Are you taking advantage of resources on campus such as The Study and The Writing Center? These all seem like basic ideas, but many of us do not implement them into our study habits until our junior or senior year. They work, if you do them.    

Regardless of what you decide to do, mistakes are vital to personality development. Many college students did not have any trouble in high school and never had to study. Now, because these mistakes were never made, many of us struggle to develop a study routine. No mistake has to have lasting results as long as you learn from them and are cognizant about yourself in how to change them. So, do not stress about your grades this past semester. Instead, develop a plan on how to change them next semester.