honest advice from honestly nice people
By Kristyn Kiesling
NOW this is a story all about how my GPA got flipped turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you all about how I failed bio spring of my freshman year….
All aspirations of being a 90s rapper aside, this post is about academics. Wooo… party… I know. Believe me. Not my fave topic either, but listen, I’ve got some good things to say! (in my opinion at least, and probably that of my roomie.)
So, hopefully by now most of you know who I am, if only by the fact that I’m addicted to coffee and have a cute dog and love football. If that’s all you know about me, then we’re off to a good start, cuz there’s not much more to know. However, for this post, let me give you a little background. I was an almost completely straight A student in high school. And all the grades before then (I will never get over that government/economics grade). High school was easy for me and I never really struggled. For me, a B was failure, the worst thing that could possibly happen. College was a bit of a rude awakening for me. My first semester went really well. I took 17 hours and only ended up with one B. I made the dean’s list and thought “hey, this whole college thing? Not so bad!” I didn’t study as much as I should have, I could have had all A’s, but it was my first semester and I didn’t think that was too shabby at all. Then came the spring.
Spring semester was rough. I was in less hours, but harder classes. Neuroscience kicked my butt. But even worse, honors bio II for over an hour at 9:30 AM, DESTROYED ME. Literally. I failed. Like real failure… not a B that isn’t really failure and all your slacker friends get mad at you because you got an 88 and are complaining about it while they got an 80 and are happy. And not by a little bit either, like…. A 45. I needed a 100 exactly on my 100 question final and I got a 42. It was the hardest failure of my life. And my first. I had never done that bad on anything ever. I cried a lot.
But my dad taught me an important lesson through all of this. Without our failures, we don’t appreciate our success. Yes, it was very bad that I failed bio. Yes, my GPA suffered a whole bunch. Am I still making up for the mistakes I made the spring semester of my freshman year? You bet I am. (I’m retaking bio this spring. Pray for me and my GPA) But does that one failure make ME a failure? No. I can do one of two things, I can whine about it and never learn the lesson, or I can move on, learn from it, and make it better.
But how?? How do you recover from failure? Well, I don’t know exactly, but here’s a few ideas.
1. Suck it up.
Wow that sounds really harsh. But in all honesty, that’s the first step. Admit that you could have done better and MOVE ON. Don’t forget about your mess up, but don’t mope, whine and complain. You could have done better, so DO BETTER. Find a way to fix the problem and do it.
2. Appreciate the successes you've achieved.
Ok so you didn’t rock that one class like you hoped, but look at the other ones! Look how well you’ve done in the past and figure out what you can change to get back to that point. Maybe it means spending less time at Torchy’s and more time at home studying and getting Torchy’s to go. (if you don’t like tacos that’s your problem to work out on your own. Can’t help ya there)
3. Ask for help.
Anyone who knows me is laughing at this right now. I am THE ABSOLUTE WORST at asking for help. I just won’t. I wanna handle it on my own. But sometimes, you just can’t go it alone. Go talk to your professor. They really do want to help you. They want you to succeed. Find an accountability partner, someone to make sure you’re doing your homework and getting the grades you need. (my roommate is the best accountability partner out there and no you can’t have her.)
4. Go the extra mile.
Sometimes all you need to do is ask for extra credit. Maybe it’ll work or maybe “your work is B material” and “there’s nothing you can do to get that grade up .6 points” but its always worth a shot. The worst that can happen is they say no. But then they know you care. Which is good, because they might help you out in the future.
5. Accept that B doesn't mean "bad."
College is a different experience. A lot of times in high school, if you got a B it was just because you really didn’t try. Not the case in the real world. My mom always told me “if you’re doing your absolute best and everything that you can and you get a C, then that’s the same as an A in my book. But, if you get a C because you didn’t try…” well… you can see how that ended. Do your best. Try everything you can. Exhaust every option. If you end up with a B, party. I’ve cried because of B test grades in really hard classes before.
Don’t let your failures define you. You are so much more than a letter on a transcript. Learn from your mistakes and try to make them better, but don’t let one little mess up ruin your entire college experience. It’s hard, but it’ll get better once you figure out what works for you.
If you ever have any questions or want to grab coffee once we’re on campus, I would be delighted to meet up with you! Don’t hesitate to slide into my DM’s or shoot me a text! You can even meet my super cute dog Bean!
Kristyn will be a Junior psychology major at Baylor. She has an addiction to sweet tea, sass, and snuggling with sloths. A southern girl with roots in New Braunfels, she loves to meet new friends and help them find their home at Baylor.