On my old Odyssey account I wrote an article at the end of my first semester in college about how the entire thing was an absolute disaster. The biggest thing I chose not to include in that was that I finished my first semester of college with a 1.9 GPA and lots of tears. Going back to school after winter break knowing I was on academic probation and could lose my scholarship felt like I was well up the creek without a paddle but with the help of my University and some outside sources I was able to end second semester with a 4.0 GPA, get off probation and save my scholarship.
I want to be clear that I'm not writing this to toot my own horn. Obviously I'm not super thrilled that my grandparents will read this and find out that they're oldest grandchild totally bombed the start of college: it's embarrassing to put that out online regardless of the comeback story. I'm choosing to write this article because the University of Arizona has so many underrated resources for students that I want more students to know about. I'm writing this to toot the horn of U of A and some of the great people that work there and a few other great resources. If you're not a U of A student I'm positive that if you look around on your campus you'll find similar resources!
So, first of I highly recommend getting on http://www.ratemyprofessors.com when picking your classes. Rate My Professor is a beautiful magical website where students write brutally honest reviews of professors. If you have a bad semester I feel that it's a wise choice to take classes that you can see yourself doing well in the following semester. I chose all of my classes second semester after reading any and all of the reviews for the professors of classes I was interested in. I really think that this was one of the things that saved me. By looking at other students advice I was able to gage how well I would be able to do in certain course. 10/10 would recommend checking this website: it may save you.
So Rate My Professor is super great and it helped me a lot as far as picking my classes went BUT eventually I got to a place where even though my classes were manageable I needed a way to maintain my new found good grades.
At the University of Arizona when you get put on Academic Probation you get assigned an Academic Skills Tutor that works at the University Think Tank and you're required to meet with them. The awesome thing is that this service isn't only for students on probation: students can either pay to meet with a university staff member or they can meet with one of the student tutors for free. THIS SAVED ME. If you're like me then you're one of those people that did really well in high school without having to do anything at all and then you got to college and bombed because you had no clue how to study. My Academic Skills Tutor was a real life angel, he taught me to how study,how to keep a planner, how to plan out essays and set up a schedule that worked for me.
If you're reading this please please please go to Think Tank and make an appointment with the man the myth the legend Vincent Colaianni. I couldn't sing higher praises for how great this man is at his job. He worked so hard to get to know me so that he was able to be an effective resource. If I had to pick one resource in this whole post that helped me the most it would 100% be the time I spent at the Think Tank. Seriously go.
Another thing that helped me get a 4.0 second semester was meeting with my advisors. I'm a Sociology Major and a Psychology Minor and when it came to declaring those things and trying to figure out the right classes to take in order to get credits for them meeting with my advisors was beyond helpful. I know this is something that people say all the time but seriously meet with your advisors: they can't help you if they've never met you. Make appointments with them, talk to them, they're people too! Advisors are such an underrated resources. My advisors are the most energetic people, they helped motivate me and helped me stay on track to get a 4.0. Meet with your advisors: I'm sure they're great.
Probably the most stereotypical advice that I can give is: go to office hours. At the beginning of the semester I went out of my way to stop by the office hours of all my professors and explain to them that my goal for the semester was to get a 4.0 in order to keep my scholarship. Professors are people the same way Advisors are people. I had amazing professors this past semester and after explaining my goal to them they were all supportive of me trying to reach that. I feel like it's important to note that they made me work for it: hard.
The last piece of advice that I could give about changing your GPA this drastically is that sometimes it means that you have to say no to things. My first semester of college I was in a Sorority and I enjoyed going to all the events/sisterhood but I ended up having to say no and drop out my Sorority. This was an extremely hard decision to make but I knew that I needed to be disciplined with my time because if I lost my scholarship I wouldn't have gotten to be in the Sorority anymore anyway. Another thing that I had to say no to was writing for Odyssey. Which was also a hard and very layered decision ( I wrote another article about it a while ago ). Saying no to things that took up a lot of my time but were also things I loved was a really hard decision but it made it so there were no distractions from getting the grades I knew I wanted and needed.
I hope that anyone who reads this that is in a similar situation as end of first semester me knows that it's possible to turn your grades around. And I hope that this article brought attention to the amazing resources and staff the the University of Arizona because I couldn't be more thankful for all of them.