That moment when you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you bombed that exam. That moment when you submit a paper and you know that it wasn’t your best work. That gut-wrenching nanosecond where you see your academic life flash before your eyes because the clock struck 12 before the submit button was done loading. It’s the moment where your dreams of law school, medical school, grad school, or just plain graduation flash before your eyes like the scene at the end of a bad, sad movie with a predictable tragic ending. It’s panic, sure, but it’s also that momentary lapse of panic that’s replaced with numbness and an all-over feeling of white noise on a television screen.
What do you do when you have one of these moments? What do you do when you know you have just turned in the work that could ruin your GPA? There are many options, the first being to cry (which is generally my option of preference, if we’re being honest), but this is likely not the most productive way to fix the sticky situation you now find yourself in. You could go directly to the professor and beg for forgiveness and extra credit (but be careful of this option: reactions will vary based on the detailed nature of the individual professor’s syllabus) or you could email them with as much reverence and respect as your typing fingers can muster. Or you could pray…pray and wait for the results.
Praying and waiting is the worst part of any student’s life, especially when they are awaiting the response to a grade they know they won’t like. The worst part of "pray and wait" is that the pray allows hope to blossom. For one moment, a student can let themselves believe that there is the possibility that they didn’t bomb that test or miss the mark on that paper, that their professor isn’t really that mean.
The reality is that the professor is always that mean. But, sometimes, you are that smart. Never forget, hard-work always pays off in the end, and more often than not, you’ll find that you knew more than you thought you did and your grade will be vastly higher than you thought it would be. So, chin up buttercup! You’re in college for a reason. You are smart beyond what you realize and you are capable of achieving more than you believe. Besides, even if you did mess up, teachers always have drop grades.