From Sinking To Strutting: How To Save Your GPA

From Sinking To Strutting: How To Save Your GPA

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So you tanked the first couple of years in college, or maybe just one semester, and now you’re panicking at the thought of not graduating.  Don’t stress.  With a little, or a lot, of TLC to your GPA you can turn this thing around. 

Assess the Damage

If you haven’t already, now is the time to take stock of your grades.  Did you bomb one semester or two years?  Did you blow it in extracurricular classes or in your degree area?  Note the strengths that you have going for you and realize that not all hope is lost.  Calculate what grades you need to earn in order to graduate and pull your GPA back from the brink.  Map out a plan that will lead to success.  Example: “I need this many A’s and this many B’s and can get away with this many C’s”.

Talk to Your Professors

Reach out to your Professors through email or whatever medium makes you most comfortable.  Go speak with them in person and show them your sincere desire to fix the mess you are in.  Take responsibility, apologize if necessary, and let them know that you respect them and their class.  Offer to do extra work or ask if you can have your overall grade raised if you really nail the final.  If you are an online student, the same tactics apply.  You don’t have to log off and call it quits.  Now go send that email.

Buckle Up

You’ve cruised for a bit or been distracted by adverse events.  Whatever the case may be, cruise control has got to go.  Buckle up and get ready for the long haul to graduation.  Do whatever is necessary to adjust your priorities and focus on your grades.  Put school first and everything else last.  It’s harsh, but this is your degree we’re talking about here.  It’s not too tough and you can do this.  You will do this.  Write that down until you believe it.

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from students, tutors, Professors, or the Dean of your college.  Nobody can help you if you don’t let them know that you need help.  If there’s a particular class you are struggling with there is no reason to let that be why you give up.  If writing essays gives you trouble, contact your school’s writing center if there is one.  Ask if you can substitute courses and take something more fitting for your skill set.  Ask, ask, ask!

Practice Self Care

I realize you’re buckled up and working hard but please remember to take care of yourself.  Get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, exercise, and do things you enjoy.  School is your priority but you can’t finish if you don’t keep yourself rested and able to function.  Practice mindfulness or yoga.  Hug a tree or chase waterfalls.  Breathe. 

Strut Your Stuff

Graduate.  Graduate with better grades and your head held high.  You’ve earned this.  Now go practice that strut.

Stephanie March is a former college and MFA student.  You can find her on Twitter.

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Categories: Academics