Right now, I’m gazing at the snowfall that is finally among Denver. It’s beautiful as all these tiny snowflakes are cruising in between the skyscrapers and making it a hazy wonderland. It has been an unusually warm fall (Thanks, global warming) which allowed for some amazing weather for weeks longer. But that’s not what this post is about.I have two secrets to share: I desire to be intelligent. It’s a great aspiration of mine to be intelligent and know great quantities of facts and knowledge. My other secret to share that has been affecting me for awhile now is that I’m honest to goodness struggling with my classes. Having too much on my plate, a huge course load, tough classes, and hardly any motivation is the ultimate formula for failure. Not that these excuses are acceptable for how it’s turned out but dealing with so much has put a toll on me. I hate how this semester is turning out but I realized I have a month, with a week long break in there, to finish strong. I’ve dealt with the mental turmoil you feel with bad grades and the struggle of college and finally had a breakthrough. Let me share with you how I got to the Big Breakthrough. I just failed this quiz I did an adequate job studying for. I was absolutely horrified I didn’t pass. I was bitter and silent about it afterwards. I was contemplating on dropping out for the next semester and focus on other things. I was so upset at how my grades were looking in my two essential classes that I began to think of all the extreme solutions. I was taking this tough semester to heart and was getting more and more bitter about it every day. On the night I failed that quiz, I was laying in bed with all the lights off listening to my fiance snoring. I was thinking of all the ways to improve and fix this bad solution when it came to me. Everything I am doing is destructive to my academics. This was such a big wake-up call and had me thinking in a different direction and with a whole new light. If I needed to change the outcome and get the results I wanted, then I needed to change my outlook, my strategy, and my skills. After such a tough semester, I figured out how to turn it all around. I’m gonna share all the tips that are bringing me better fortune with my college life.
Bouncing Back from a Tough Semester
- First things first, change your attitude. With bad grades come a bad attitude. So to change the bad grades you need to change your attitude. Thinking positively will greatly impact how you’ll feel about the hard work you’re about to put in. Thinking “I’m not going to pass.” or “I’m just going to drop out.” or “It’s not worth it anymore.” is the essence of giving up. I don’t know about you but I wasn’t raised a quitter. I was taught to persevere and work hard for the things I want. An education is something to rejoice about and to be extremely grateful for. What you’re learning about should be your passion and should be fervently pursued.
- Change your studying habits. Before my Big Breakthrough I had the attitude of “If the due date isn’t today, then it’s not the do date.” Which raised my stress levels immensely since I typically had assignments due spaced throughout the week and was focusing on that one assignment after I got off work. Doing a little bit every day will help your homework load throughout the week. Doing a little bit of work each day will space everything out and won’t have you as frantic the day an assignment is due.
- Time management is key. Learning about how much time you have for homework each day is essential. Prioritize your homework based on when it’s due, how much it’s worth, and the complexity of it. Don’t over budget your time with easy assignments. Give those long papers as much time as possible but don’t waste it. The worst thing you could do for yourself is wasting your own time.
- Go the extra mile. For my biology class, we have two types of homework and then a quiz. My professor gives us learning outcomes that he feels are necessary to learn and help us to study for the quizzes and the exams. Take quality notes from the lectures and textbook. A studying tip I learned from my AP Psych teacher in high school is that writing your notes in different colors. For example, write in a purple pen all the important names, blue for the important dates, red for significant information, and on and on. I normally break my notes up in an outline so I have the background information and more all laid out for me. It works like a charm when I study and a useful tool for the online quizzes (we’re allowed to use any tools as long as it’s not each other so it’s not cheating!)
- Your place of studying is extremely important. Doing my homework in bed was the worst mistake of this journey. Go to your kitchen table, a coffee shop, or a library. Doing homework in bed will be so hard to get things done. You’ll feel your energy seep into the warmth of the blankets and then somehow Netflix will turn on and then homework session is over. I usually whip out my best homework and getting the most done when I’m in a relaxing place and have no distractions. Always have a snack and some water so you won’t feel the urge to break your homework mood.
- Cut out the things in your life that are time-consuming/ time-wasting. The biggest time wasters in my life are watching movies and taking naps. Once I regularly make trips to the library, my productivity levels rose and I accomplished more than I ever did in my sweatpants in my cozy bed. Sure, you’re missing out in the comfort of your own bed but at least you’re getting your work done and lowering your anxiety and stress levels.
It’s tough to navigate through the world of school. It really is but if you do it right and put your mind to your goals (and figuring out how to even get there) makes it much more fun and successful. It’s okay to slip up and have a bad couple of weeks. It’s okay to struggle and challenge yourself. Nothing worth having comes easy. As long as you have a plan to navigate through the tough sailing then you’re better off than you think.