So you didn't get perfect grades this semester. You're pretty sure that your world is ending and your parents might actually kill you. What I'm saying is that basically you'd better start saying your goodbyes now. But what if it's not the end of the world?

If you're anything like me, when you got your first semester's grades back, you were definitely not thrilled. You had to hold back the tears in front of your family and make it seem like it's really not affecting you that badly. A few uncomfortable conversations later and you're feeling somewhat better about where you're at, but you still know that you've disappointed not only yourself but also people that are important to you.

Right now it seems that you're completely alone and it's all over, but trust this: no matter what anyone tells you, your grades DO NOT define who you are. They do not define your potential for success, or if you are intelligent or not. If you think you have to have perfect grades to fit society's definition of what's acceptable, you might need to think about adjusting your view.

So you didn't get perfect grades this semester. The first step is to ignore all of those people that you went to high school with posting about their 4.0 and how great everything is going for them. Sure, be happy for them, but also focus on YOU and where YOU are. Comparing yourself to someone else is never going to help. The second step is to take responsibility for the grade(s) and make a plan for how to do better. Forget about the anxiety that you have looming over your shoulder, because worrying about something that already happened isn't going to fix anything either. Once you've fully accepted where you're at, there's one more thing that you have to do.

Remind yourself that everything really and truly will be okay. Your family is not going to disown you. The world is not ending. You are still smart. There is nothing wrong with you.

Forget about grades for just a little while, enjoy the holidays with your family and friends, and come back second semester better than ever.