Interesting points from “So you got your grades, now what?”
- Students with good grades tend to view them as ephemeral and not likely to hold up, while students with bad grades tend to view them as permanent and unchanging.
- You just can’t win can you? I know this is especially true of good students. If you got bad grades, know you CAN change them. If you have good grades, you’ve proven you can do it. Just use some of the steps below to feel more on top of things.
- The good grades advice of “So you got your grades, now what?” about applying for an internship is more specific to law school. But here’s a way to apply it to college. If you had a better-than-your average good fall semester – capitalize on it!
- IDEA – if you have a better-than- average GPA the semester before you look for a job, highlight it before (or in place of?) your overall GPA.
What to do if your first semester grades are bad.
1. Change your mindset about grades.
It’s an interesting psychological question, but students with good grades tend to downplay them. They view them only as fleeting and are scared they still won’t measure up the next time around.
Students with bad grades will tend to view them as permanent. While there is some truth to that, especially when it comes to courses that are taught in a series, such as Calculus 1, Calculus 2, and Calculus 3, it’s not an absolute.
True story, my husband was caught completely flat-footed with his first Calculus 1 test and failed it. He gradually pulled his grades higher every test and finished the course with a C. But did this mean he was doomed to make all C’s in Calculus? No, in fact, he made A’s in Calculus 2 and Calculus 3. He used what he learned about how to study in Cal 1, to do better in future semesters.
Making bad grades in one course especially does not hold true for a completely unrelated courses. If you make a C in English Composition, that doesn’t mean anything about your future grade in Calculus.
2. To improve your grades, make changes at the beginning of the semester.
3. Get a tutor to improve your grades
Finding a personal tutor to improve your grades
4. Change your sleep habits to improve your grades
- Make a rough estimate of how much sleep you got on most nights last semester. When did you usually go to bed (in spite of good intentions.) When did you usually wake up? If it’s 6 hours are less, good news! Getting more sleep is going to make a HUGE difference.
- Set a goal of getting 1 hour of more sleep for five out of seven days of the week. That’s getting an hour more sleep than you did every night last semester, the night before each of your class days.
- When you sleep isn’t as important as the length of an uninterrupted block of sleep. This is probably not what your mom told you. It wasn’t even what I told my own kids until after I read,Why We Sleep. Teens are often naturally night owls. It’s their natural biological rythm, so going to bed late and waking up late are fine. What matters is the number of hours in between where you give yourself an (in bed) opportunity to sleep. If you can manage to get 7 hours of sleep the day before each of your classes, that would be good. However, 8 hours of opportunity to sleep, this includes lying awake in bed, is optimal for both your physical and mental health. You can learn more from my review post about Why We Sleep.