To The A+ Student Who Got A Bad Grade

To The A+ Student Who Got A Bad Grade

Why do college students put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect?

One of the worst things that can happen to someone in college happened to me this past week. I got a C on a paper. The week before I had gotten a low B and I was freaking out over that. You see, I haven't gotten a B or a C for that matter since 9th grade in high school. I have always been a straight A student and being a junior in college getting A's was my proud moment. I was smart and clever. I am an English major who always gets A's. I took that C really bad. The worst part was, I was so confident in that paper. I felt I nailed it. I bawled by eyes out for two hours because my self-confidence had been ruined. I was a terrible student. How could I, an English major, do bad on a paper? It's like what we do. It wasn't an even an English paper I did "bad" on.

I realized, after talking to someone close to me who soothed me, that it wasn't a big deal. A "C" isn't failing, it's average. Why do college students put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect? The idea of this grading system is so detrimental to the students mental health that we panic at the slightest sign of anything less than an "A". Schools tell us from elementary to higher education that grades are everything. That if you get a bad grade you aren't as smart as the other kids and that's just not true. I'm struggling in this 300 level ART class, it's true but that doesn't mean I'm stupid. When I went to my professor begging for a rewrite and she gave it to me, she said that it wasn't that the intelligent connects weren't there but that I was wordy and full of jargon that clouded my argument. I felt, when writing the paper, in order to seem like I understood the topic and was smart I had to be very bookish. Sometimes the simple ways are the best ways.

Moral of the story is that it's okay to get one "C" on a paper. It's okay to get two. We don't always have to understand everything and that doesn't make you stupid, it just means you have to work harder the next time. For my final paper, I'm gonna bang it out and if I get another "C" it's okay because I tried my hardest and I passed the class. And really, that's the point: to work hard and be proud that you may not have gotten the best grade but you put your whole heart into it. I'm going to try to keep my grades up but I'm going to stop putting so much pressure on myself to be a perfect student, because I'm not and that's not a bad thing. Honestly, it's a good thing to continuously be yourself, even if you get a "C" on a paper.

You got this, just keep on chugging along, you're still the intelligent person you were before the bad grade, just now you know the feeling and will fight against it happening again. I know you are hurting right now and I know your pain but don't lose sight of your goals or who you are. It's just one grade. Good luck and know I believe in you.

Cover Image Credit: todayifoundout

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Getting Straight A's In College Is Not Worth Failing Your Mental Health

A's are nice, but you are more than a letter.


The idea of getting an A on every paper, every exam, every assignment, seems great. It can be known as a reassurance of our hard work and dedication to our 4+ classes we attend every single day.

Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

But honey, get some sleep.

Don't lose yourself, don't forget who you are. Grades are important, but the true measurement of self-worth and accomplishment is that you tried your best.

Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

At the end of the day, grades might look nice on a piece of paper, but who you are and how you represent yourself can be even more honorable.


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'Tis The Season For Exams

Once again, it is the time of year to be stressed.


Well, we made it to the end of the semester. Last time I remember it was just midterms and people were freaking out about those as well. Now we have come to the end of the fall 2018 semester. This means all the projects and paper that you told yourself you had time for are due. All those nights where you could have been writing or even studying are now being crammed to the last minute. The funny part of exam week is the fact that many people that I talked to do not have exams. They are more stressed out about their papers or their final projects. So my question is which is more stressful, exams or papers and projects?

To me, it would be the paper and projects. Even though I thought I had more time, I realized a week ago that the semester was ending. It was crazy to think how much time flies, even though I was not having fun. Paper and projects are always stressful because there are guidelines and specific rules each teacher wants you to follow. If you are like me and have 4 papers and two projects, then those "strict guidelines" start to go out the window. You just want to get the project or paper finished so you can move onto the next one.

The one major paper that I have had a lot of stress about would be my English paper. You know, the white paper, or research paper, whatever your teacher calls it, that you have all semester to work on. Luckily I started mine early, but it turns out that I had a lot to do in the final weeks of the semester. Everything seemed fine until I realized that some of my articles were not working and I had to change those and then more and more started to fall apart. This to me, was very stressful and something that I wish I had avoided.

Now that the week is over and classes are finished, except for the final projects and exams, it is time to reflect on this semester. I would first say that my semester was very crazy and exhausting. Taking so many courses at once and not really even having a summer break (due to the fact I too 15 credits over the summer) means that this semester was all the more stressful. It does not finish there since I am taking a J-Term class. So it seems that even though people are finishing up and starting to pack up and go home, my day is just getting started with a new class! Why do I do this to myself!

So finally I would like to say congratulations to those who finished their first semester in college. You made it! Now good luck getting through the next 7 semesters. To those who are in the final stretch, you are almost there! I will soon be there as well since I am graduating early in the fall of 2019. Finally, to those in the middle, just keep on going. Before you know it you will be walking down to Pomp and Circumstance and praying that you passed that one class that you should have taken your Freshman year but decided to wait a little bit!

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