Eeek… can’t believe I am actually talking about this.
The most embarrassing things to admit is that my GPA after my first semester of university was a 0.0 GPA (yikes). This isn’t a joke, I didn’t withdrawal from any classes or just didn’t take any classes; that semester I failed all of my classes. I spent $2,000 on tuition , for a semester I would have to completely write-off , redo, and re-spend.
Thankfully, I did not have to drop-out and I managed to increase my GPA in 3 semesters to a 2.64 GPA. I am happy with this small victory.
Now I am currently working my way to a 4.0 (will keep you updated on my progress)!
How did I do it?
Focus on your health
The underlying cause of my 0.0 GPA was my health.
When I came to university I had some medical issues that I decided not to deal with. My neglect to myself caused me to eat sh*tty junk food (making my physical health even worse) and to also cause my self esteem & mental health to plummet. Thankfully, I had some close friends who ended up forcing me to go to the doctor and start taking initiative in caring for myself.
I thought I was too “grown up” to reach for help and admit that I was struggling. I thought I could handle it on my own and thought there was no need for me to talk to my professors, academic advisors, or even a doctor, because I would just eventually figure it out and somehow pass all of my classes magically. Oh, was I wrong.
Trust me, you can find time to deal with your health. I know you may feel too busy, but you will be able to do so much more work and help yourself way more if you’re feeling healthy.
Cut down on the amount of classes
One way that helped me improve my GPA was my second semester I only took 3 courses instead of 5. This allowed me to focus on achieving high grades in the fewer courses. Although taking more classes could’ve boost my GPA up higher if I did exceptional in all of them, by focusing on quality over quantity allowed me to make sure I would be successful and get those A’s.
Repeat your classes
Pretty straightforward. Repeat your classes to improve your mark on them. Luckily for me, repeating my failed courses replaced my previous Fs. However, even if the course grade is an average of the two marks – it could significantly improve your marks
Have a schedule
Having too much free time actually ruined my GPA; instead, by getting a part-time job improved my GPA because I didn’t have near as much free time. By using my planner, I would input my work hours and then schedule in set study times. Knowing exactly when I had free time to study and when I would have to be at work forced me to be productive with the time I had.
Using my planner effectively
Write things down. Every time I had an assignment, work schedule, appointments, even friend-dates I write all that sh*t down. I like to use one of the planners that have a “month in a glance” section for an overview, but that also includes “day-to-day” behind it.
In the month in a glance section is where I put all of my appointments and days I need to remember. I also use the day-to-day section for classes that I would include what happened, things discussed, and other last little tidbits. Here’s a sample of what I would put in my daily section:
* I realise this is a terrible photo that I scrambled to get- but It shows what I mean. HAHA
Reach out to friends and classmates.
By staying social in the midst of my GPA-recovery was a key factor in staying on top of my game. I couldn’t go out every weekend, and I had to be on the ball with my academics and surround myself with friends that have a positive impact. By having a good group of friends that you can have a study-group with can make studying a little less painful and help keep you accountable.
- Make friends with people in your classes. Show up to class 10-minutes early and say hello to the person who sits next to you. If you befriend them, that’s someone you can grab notes from if you happen to miss a class.
- Join clubs in your field and interests. If you end up joining a club relating to your major (i.e Biology Club) you will find friends with people who are taking classes with you, or upper-level students who can give you class advice and recommend the best professor to take a class with.
In addition to recommendations from your friends, I recommend you visiting rate my professors for feedback and ratings on professors BEFORE you register for your classes. Trust me. Last thing you want when your fixing your GPA is thinking you’re taking a GPA-booster elective and end up writing 8 essays for that one class.
Remember that there is always help there and to reach out to someone you trust when you are struggling. You’re not alone, and many people struggle with going to university or college. Remember this: your grades do not define you.
Let me know your college experiences. Did you also struggle?