Yeah you have high hopes of going to medical school or law school – or you might even be an engineering major – but your grades don’t show it? Did you get caught up in the whirlwind of parties, lack of time management, or lack of self motivation? Or was it the freedom to finally get to choose to go to class or not, and you decided to uphold your first amendment rights and chose not to go? Are you wondering how you graduated high school summa cum laude, and ended your first semester with a 2.7 or less? No matter the poor decisions you made, which earned you poor results, YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO BOUNCE BACK FROM THAT DISASTER. Below, I’ve composed a list of helpful ways to get you back in your groove.
1. Acknowledge The Role You Played In This
Admit that you contributed to this mishap. Don’t walk around campus still telling the same white lie of “I don’t know how I earned these grades.” Plus, if you acknowledge and take responsibility of the things that you contributed to this messy equation, you won’t contribute the same things next semester.
2. Remind Yourself With Things That Motivate You
Yes, you may ask “Moriah why do I need a constant reminder of how I ruined my first semester of college?” You need a constant reminder as motivation to do better. Do you remember the disappointment you heard in your mother or father’s voice? Do you remember the doubters and secret haters that CONSTANTLY remind you: “Dang, how did YOU get those grades? I’m doing better than you”? That should be enough motivation right there, or maybe an email informing you that you’re on academic probation is just the wake up call you need?
3. Develop A Game Plan
Go talk to your Academic Advisor, or better yet the Dean of your college. Tell them your situation, and ask them for advice. Also, do some behind the scene work. Don’t just wait on them for help, remember they’re helping 10,000 other students so you’re not their number one priority – no matter what they swear by on the school’s brochure. Cope with the fact that you may have to take summer school and earn 4.0’s for the next two semesters. Then figure out how you’re going to pay for summer school and school in gerneral if you lost your scholarships (which if you got under a 2.5, you most likely did.) Most schools offer financial aid for summer sessions if you’re meeting SAP (Satisfactory Academic Performance). You might have to take online classes and get a summer job. McDonald’s isn’t a bad job, it’s a chance at opportunity.
4. Re-Evaluate Your Priorities
Like implied in the intro, don’t get caught up in the whirlwind again. You can’t repeat the same thing over and over and expect a new result. Sometimes you have to distance yourself from friends who constantly want you to go places with them, and even turn off the TV on the day your favorite show comes on. If you’re not willing to miss the new episode of Scandal – or whatever your fix may be – then plan your schedule around that show. If you know the show comes on at 9, plan to have your work and studying done before 9.
5. Exercise & Eat Healthy
This may seem odd but TRUST ME…. what you eat, and how you feel about your outer appearance will affect how you perform. If you feel grumpy every time you eat junk food and have no energy to do your work, then you WONT do your work. No hangover is worse than the hangover you get after a week of eating and drinking nothing but food/drinks with no nutritional value. Also, go to the gym and exercise. The energy you get from living a clean and healthy life is addictive, and soon enough you’ll hate missing the gym.
It’s been proven that it takes 21 – 30 days to form a habit. Just practice what you see on this list for 21-30 days and I promise you that you will see a change – not only in your grades, but also in how you feel. I know I did. Comment below any advice or tips you have for overcoming a horrible first semester.