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I am a Failure..Plain and Simple

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Ok.. I am in college right now, and I am doing terrible! So far my cum GPA is 2.93, I am a freshman in my second semester, and I can't handle not being good enough at anything....on my very first English paper this semester, I got a C-....I cried so hard, and I am still crying. My goal this semester was to get a 4.0 I don't feel this goal is too far out of reach because the classes I am taking are my strong points, and I feel as though English is a strong point of mine as well... I have never gotten below an A in an english class....I mean when I got a B+ last semester I nearly broke down.....I can't stand school, It just makes me want to drop out....I can't deal with being a constant failure....It hurts so bad right now.. I mean a C-?? It's just embarrasing to say that to people...I'm just writing because I really am trying to calm myself down, my sadness has turned into anger, I'm figity, I want to throw things, and i know that today anyone I come in contact is going to feel the wrath....I just want to relax before I go to work, I just know I will be upset all day and probably tomorrow too.....

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You're being awfully hard on yourself. I ended my first 2 years of college with a cum 0.79 . I was the first person to successfully beg admissions to let me back into college 4 times in a row. I graduated college with about a 2.0 GPA. Then, I got a very successful job, make a high salary, went back and got my M.S. degree where I got a 3.9 and things just go up.


I understand your frustration, but you're not doing too poorly.

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I do understand your frustration with your GPA. Do you feel like your GPA determines how successful you are, or how smart you are with your peers?


I ended having a Cum GPA of like 2.8 after my freshman year. It dropped to 2.5 middle of my sophomore year. I felt terrible, because I knew I was capable of doing better. I realized what I was doing wrong, and made a concientious effort to change my approach to school. When I graduated, I ended up with a 3.5 CUM GPA.


Sometimes failing is a better teacher, than succeeding. I know it was for me. I learned that if things don't go right the first time, learn from the mistakes, then continue on ahead.

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Like NJRon pointed out...you are being too hard on yourself but I can definitely relate to how you are feeling at the moment. A 2.93 is NOT bad...it is a B average...I mean it's not a 4.0 but you can definitely strive torwards it. You have so much time.


I went to school and got my B.A. and M.A. and let me tell you...it was a very long and tearful road at times. I failed 2 courses in the same semester when I was an undergrad and I was devistated. But I kept on going and managed to graduate with a 3.0. So anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Anything worth working for is not going to be a walk in the park all the time. There are going to be bumps in the road...that helps you become stronger and wiser. Try to not focus on this C- too much. There is plenty of time to make it up and get a better grade. And anyone asks how you did, maybe say something like..."I did not do as good as I hoped but I have plenty of chances to make it up."


Keep plugging along...you are a bright student. Don't let one C- stand in the way of your dreams and goals. Take care and in hang in there.

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Your best sources of information are the professors or the graders in the courses you are taking. Schedule meetings with them and ask them specifically about your work and how you can improve on it. Don't lose heart...instead, focus your energies on figuring out what the Profs or graders expect to see and trying to improve on that. Also, make sure your making time for breaks and extracurriculars (not too much of course, cause you probably want to focus a lot on your studies right now, but if all you are doing is working, it can be counterproductive and make you tired instead of more engaged/interested by the topics of the assignments).

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Hey...take a deep breath, BayArea. This must be rough. You're in a totally different environment (college, yeesh), doing your best to cope with a ton of new responsibilities, social pressures, academic stressors, probably living in a new place with new people, maybe in a new city. Right now you're trying to figure out a new system and juggle a whole new set of problems that, frankly, would scare anybody. Plus, it sounds like you've got some pretty high standards for yourself, so it's even harder to not be kicking butt in the subjects you know you're good at--the things that seem the most manageable right now. I know you feel like a failure at this new game--you're probably frustrated and mad and a little freaked out, and I don't blame you.


Having said that, I'll also say that the moose is right; you're being really hard on yourself. Too hard. I was thinking about this the other day. It sounds really trite, but school is really not all about the grades. I mean it--college is a lot about figuring out how to manage all this crap while still being able to get some real enjoyment and inspiration out of your classes, figuring out (a little bit) who you are and what your place in the world is, and having a fun and healthy social life--sports, hobbies, volunteering, friends. I know it seems like you're being evaluated all the time--the grades do that--but this experience is really for and about YOU--what you're thinking and feeling and learning about life, the world.


I know this sounds like pep talk blather, but I wanted to say it because I realized this too late...because I was a lot like you. I spend a *ton* of time studying in college--an absurd amount. I wanted to 4-point every quarter, so I'd get so wrapped up in each individual assignment, paper, exam, presentation, etc. that I would devote all my energies to it--and after 4 years of that mess, rather than looking back on college as a process of education, enlightenment, or self-discovery, or heck...FUN, I look back and see a steady stream of conquests, each one of which is totally, 100% meaningless in isolation. It summed up to a good GPA and a crappy college experience.


I *promise* that a bad grade on a paper isn't going to really affect your chances of getting into grad school, or getting a cool job that you love. But spending this week feeling frustrated and upset may have a lot of consequences.


I guess my actual advice would be to be pragmatic about this. Rather than think about it as a failure on your part, think about it as a problem to be solved. You're probably stressed about a lot of things, but you mentioned your English paper so I'll use that as an example. Go to your TA or professor and ask what you're doing wrong; what you can improve. Try to figure out where you're really not meeting his/her 'A' standards: are you not really understanding the content, or are you not being detailed enough in your analysis, or could your writing use some organizational clean-ups? S/he'll tell you. I *know* that seems obvious, and I'm sure that you've heard it before. But really--it's not as magical or mysterious as it seems, and I promise that your TA or prof will be really pleased that you actually care about being a better writer, and not just getting a better grade. You may not realize that behind the scenes, your prof is tired, overworked, underpaid, and cranky, and that she hears students complain all the time. She'd be glad to talk with somebody who really cares about improving.


Some tips: E-mail her in advance and tell her that you're feeling disappointed with your performance in class and that you'd like to do better (no blame or anger). Ask if it's ok for you to bring a copy of your paper to her office *during office hours* so that she can give you specific tips on ways you can improve. Attach your paper to the e-mail so that she can print it out and look at it ahead of time if she has the chance. Then, don't be late. Let her know how you're feeling, but be nice. Ask questions. Listen. And next time around, take a little more time with your paper, and incorporate her suggestions. Ask your TA if she can look over it and give you feedback, or take it to your college writing center. I’m sure this seems excessive, especially since English is a strong subject for you. But remember that college is a different game, with different standards, and part of any game is figuring out the rules.


Good luck!!

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Hey there,


When I was a freshman, my GPA was 1.90 and I was on probation. That was because I was not used to college as opposed to high school andf I didn't take college seriously. In high school I rarely got lower than 90, and I cut class a lot. High school was so easy, and I expected college to be the same. Wrong, hence the 1.90 average. I also had to get it to at least 2.0 or I was going to be kicked out.


My sophomore year, I raised it to around 2.8 by finally being serious. I studied, took classes that would raise my GPA faster, and taking classes that I knew I could excell in. Junior year and senior year were the same, and I graduated with a 3.6 average. But only after buckling down, getting tutored, and especially getting into study groups where we helped each other. It helped me a great deal that everyone in my study group were practically rocket scientists.


You are a freshman, so there is no need to panic. Now you know what you need to do. Ask your teachers what your strong points are and what your wak points are. See a councelor who can help you. And find a study group, that really helps a ton. I do believe that without the study groups, I wouldn't have had the success I did.


Good luck, and do not give up!

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like the others said, you are a freshman, and it will take some time to adjust to college. Give your self credit for the 2.93 GPA. It is all how you percieve it. Change your perception a little, and keep your goal focused (4.0) and you will eventually get there.


Be easy with yourself, being so hard will not help any. Take it one day at a time.


be well,


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