To everyone who was an overachieving, honor and AP student in high school who suddenly feels like a failure in college because your grades are not the same they were before you came to university: You are not alone. I started pre-AP classes in the eighth grade, took every honors or AP class offered to me (except college algebra because it was off campus) from then on and never received below a B on my report card.
In college, however, I failed a class my second semester of freshman year. Not a test, I failed the class. The whole freaking class. And I had never felt so much like a failure in my life. What would my parents think? What would my aunt and uncle think?
I lost my scholarship because my GPA dropped too low because I didn't have enough credits at the time to cushion that blow. Luckily my school has a one-time-only pass to get your scholarship back and I did. I took two classes over the summer and I received A's in both of them. From that point on, my GPA has been barely above a 3.0, but is above it nonetheless.
I will graduate a semester late because I took a semester off for an internship and so this is the beginning of the end of my college career and I just want to give some advice to the high school seniors who killed themselves over homework and extra credit assignments to get an A. It doesn't matter. Sure, you'll probably get a great scholarship and not owe near as much in loans, if any, as your classmates that did the bare minimum to get by. OK, so you might get to live in that fancy honors dorm. But you will fail a test. You will stay up too late hanging out with new friends and skip class. You will want to drop out at some point.
College is a completely different ballgame than high school. You will have professors who won't care about you. You will have professors who simply won't give an A, no matter how amazing that paper was or how long you spent on it. You will have professors who will insist that a C is average and is not a bad grade — even though you've been told your whole life that an A is expected and a B is only acceptable.
So, for the high school student who wants to know how they can succeed in college: The secret to success is to realize that it's not high school. And also don't forget, C's really do get degrees.