I was soooo close to getting 3 A's last semester :(

For a large part of college, I was getting mediocre grades, mostly B’s and C’s. I was depressed about this, but didn’t really have the motivation or drive to improve myself. During my final semester, however, I decided that I would redouble my efforts and try to do the best I could. It was my last shot at it anyway. In a wierd way, I also felt like I had to ‘atone’ for all the lazy years I spent. I looked at what I was doing that was hurting my grades. I also tried to figure out why classes that felt ‘nigh-impossible’ wound up being passed with grades about equal to classes that felt like ‘a breeze’. What am I doing differently?

When I have an easy class, I’m incredibly lazy at it. The easiest class always got the lowest priority. The hardest class always got the highest priority. What wound up happening was that my negligence in the ‘easy’ class would drag down the grade, from what would have been an easy A to a high B. The hard class, on the other hand, I would work with great determination, and I was much more careful in everything I did. I didn’t want to make stupid mistakes in my hard classes because it was difficult enough understanding the material, much less getting docked out of sheer absentmindedness. I also had a problem with attendance. When a class was easy, there were lecture days where I already felt I knew the material, the instructor wouldn’t punish absences, etc so I would occasionally ditch (bad, I know :frowning: ) and of course the more I ditched the less I wanted to be in the class. Now this didn’t cause me to fail classes, but I am certain it played a big part in hurting my chances of a good grade.

Then there was my free time. Hanging out with my friends when I should be studying. I work three part time jobs. Between that and a full class load, I didn’t have a ton of free time. This meant that if I did have a full day off, the last thing I wanted to spend with it was studying at the library, or typing up some paper, or talking to a professor during office hours/telephone, etc. I wanted to relax and regain my sanity. But I should have been studying. This behavior also hurt my grades.

Thirdly, I didn’t communicate with professors. I was really self-concious about how I was doing. If I was doing bad in a class, I felt embarassed and reluctant to talk to a professor. I didn’t want to waste their time with some sob story which culminates in my own incompitence- If I got a bad grade, I deserved it because I was being a flake.

So on my last semester, I came up with a game plan. Firstly, I opted to minimize visits to my friend’s apartment. In fact I only hung out with him on one day during Thanksgiving break. Virtually every other day off was spent at home/at the library working on some project or another. I gave all my classes equal priority, and tried not to neglect anything. I started long-term projects early on. I made some pit threads months ago about a dreaded group project I had in one class, involving making a children’s book. I’ll admit I was kind of a hardass to my other group members, but it was because I badly wanted to get an A, and loathed the idea that when I finally get off my lazy ass and start working hard, some other flake might wind up mucking things up for me in spite of it :mad: School started becoming the dominant thing on my mind. If someone asked me what I was up to, I’d probably mention the 3 projects I was working on, or how I was trying to get caught up in one class because I lost the textbook and had trouble finding a replacement. My personal standards went up a lot, getting a ‘C’ on a paper really bothered me. I wrote many more drafts when writing essays, hounded professors into making their guidelines as specific as possible so I wouldn’t overlook anything, etc.

The semester came and went, and I had hoped that my grades would reflect my efforts. While I was relieved to see that I passed everything, meaning that I am done with school (the ceremony is in May) I was disappointed to observe that I got 4 B’s and 1 C. Of those, 3 were a B+, in classes that I was borderline A/B, often tottering back and forth through the semester. I guess in a way I kind of feel cheated; I worked twice as hard this semester than any other, only to get marginally better grades, if not the same as before. And because of a screw-up on my part trying to drop 2 classes, I had gotten F’s on 2 clases I had intended to drop, couldn’t re-take the classes later to replace them, and this caused my final GPA to go down to a 2.5 :frowning:

I’m glad I’m done, but I’m kind of mad at myself at taking so long to come to my senses. If I was still in my first year, with the attitude I have now, I could have feasably worked my way up to getting straight A’s. I believe that part of the reason my grades didn’t improve as much as I hoped they would is because I can’t instantly change overnight- going from getting C’s to A’s is a gradual improvement in attitude, motivation and self-discipline that builds off past successes and improvements. Its only a shame that I am done with college and can’t see how far I could have gone with that improvement. :frowning:

I, too, have a difficult time communicating with professors about the problems I’m having in classes, for the same reasons you mentioned. My experiences was a bit different from yours–I began with straight A’s (years ago) to getting very poor grades. It took a lot of time off, a transfer, and hard work to get my GPA back up to what I knew I was capable of. (Now an actual degree is in sight. In a few years.)

Anyway, I think you should be proud of how hard you worked, and remember that pride whenever you’re working on something (academic or not) and get distracted or unmotivated.