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Your Healthy Mind

You got a crappy grade. Now what?

Posted by Dr. Peter Farvolden, Ph.D., C.Psych. on Sep 7, 2018 3:30:33 PM

A student lays her head down on her backpack while sitting in an active library.

You didn’t study enough. You used the wrong data set for your paper. You’re losing focus on your assignments. You got a crappy grade. Being a post-secondary student means facing setbacks you’ve never experienced before.

It can be hard to let your feelings go and keep trying. You know you need to bounce back before the assignments start to pile up. Sometimes this can be really hard to do.

Here are a few tips to help you maintain your mental health when your life feels extra stressful.

Recognize you can’t control everything. Sometimes things that go wrong are random. When you look back on how things played out, try to separate out events you couldn’t do anything about, from the ones you could maybe avoid in future.  

Nobody’s perfect. It’s healthy to want to succeed and to improve and disappointment is a natural feeling when something goes wrong.

Don’t beat yourself up!

Move forward. College and university are very different from high school; and post-grad studies are different again. You’ve got to move forward, seeking solutions in an unfamiliar environment. Take some time to learn new ways to study, maybe switch up your study habits.

So, how can you grow from getting a bad grade? Did you understand the expectations clearly? What did you overlook?

What do you think you can anticipate for next time?

Think about your future happiness. If poor grades keep happening, consider re-assessing your area of study. Seek out an advisor, find a sounding board and see if talking about how you feel about your studies provides some clarity.

Your post-secondary education is the perfect time to stop and think about the future, and experiment with different courses to see what sparks inside of you.

Setbacks can be useful and point us in new directions. But If your feelings overtake your mood for several weeks, seek the support of a mental health professional. When you’re under pressure, you may need to learn new ways to cope, and keep moving forward.

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Topics: Stress, Post-Secondary Education