Recovering from a Bad Semester



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Too busy, too stressed, too many assignments, classes too hard… disappointing semesters are practically unavoidable in college. Sometimes, it’s enough to be comforted by the old adage “C’s get degrees.” But other times, that’s not enough, whether you’re on a GPA-dependent scholarship or shooting for graduate or professional school. The good news is that not all semesters have to be this way! Here are four ways to get back on your feet, which I hope will help as we start a new year, too!

Be mindful of your time

As we’ve said in previous posts, time management is so important. Even if you have to learn your limits by trial and error, respect the boundaries you learn and prioritize your activities. If you must take a full load of difficult classes, you may need to cut back on extracurricular activities and make it known that you can’t take on extra responsibilities.

Plan with grace in mind

Is there a way to spread out your difficult classes so you can balance things better? If you need to retake a class, when can you fit it in? Can you take summer classes or classes at a community college? Talk with an advisor to make a plan that will work for you (and your grades and degree).

Ask for help

Do not let office hours or free tutoring go to waste. You’re already paying for it through tuition and fees, so at least try to use them if you’re struggling academically. Your professors can recommend study strategies, and peer tutors can be a great resource. (I promise they won’t judge you; they signed up for this job because they enjoy the subject and they will be just as thrilled as you when you ace the next exam.)

Learn how you study best

Try different ways of studying. Flashcards may work best for one class, while videos might be best for another.

You can absolutely recover from a disappointing semester, and you are not alone! Resources to help are out there- don’t be afraid to seek them out.


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Written by Holly Lakin on Jan 05, 2021