I have now sunk to the lowest point a student can sink to. I have begged for marks.
I’m not quite sure how I got to this point. I think it was a result of four months in one of my Criminology classes, where I had been receiving an 78 percent all semester – on a paper plan, on the first test and on the second test. I was determined to get an 80 percent in the course, and with a final test and a paper worth 30 percent it seemed realistic.
I decide to really buckle down for the last stretch. I spoke to both the TA and the professor to make sure I understood the requirements and was on the right track. I handed in a paper plan for how to improve. I started studying and working early on the assignments. The 80 percent was really important because it would significantly help my GPA, which appears to be sinking unnervingly fast this semester. I worked 100 percent to ensure I would get an 80 percent.
Needless to say, when I went on Monday to pick up my marks and saw 77 percent and 78 percent on my final test and paper, respectively, something inside me broke. I stared at my professor, helpless, and said, “Isn’t there any way I can do some credit to boost my mark?” BAM! My tush hit the lowest floor a student can sink to – the begging floor.
Because I have been in the dark about my progress in each of my courses, it seems that every mark I get back is a setback from my goal of an A- average. In several of my courses much of my mark has yet to be determined. For example, in my Drama class, there is still 60 percent of my mark remaining. We handed in a paper on the last day of class worth 40 percent and I don’t know yet how I did. It’s exactly the same situation for one of my other Criminology classes – 70 percent of my mark is still undetermined and classes are over! By the time I get marks back, it’ll be too late to do anything to improve them. As a result, every mark back becomes a weight pushing me down. It feels a bit like I’m drowning.
As you can tell from my dark and twisty state, I am having more trouble than usual writing an inspirational last post. I looked to some of my previous posts for guidance – The Final Words for example – but somehow, I just can’t seem to get my blog on.
I guess, in many ways, how you deal with life stems from your attitude. A wise woman once said, “When you are on the Titanic, you load a lifeboat! You don’t stop to yell at the icebergs!” Okay, okay so the line comes from a TV show called Everybody Loves Raymond but hey, Debra has a point. When you feel you are sinking, it is best to do what you can rather than to lament over what you cannot.
Setbacks are something that you will experience not only as a student, but in the real world. And although it is frightening to step out of the bubble of university, many students don’t realize how well-prepared they are. I disagree when people patronizingly say things like university is a safe zone and the real world is different, because we have all been in the real world. We have all struggled to earn jobs, to learn skills like time management and dealing with stress, and most importantly, we are learning to deal with setbacks.
Setbacks. We face them everyday. Some cause us to stumble, others bring us to our knees. And along with pain and heartache, setbacks bring the opportunity to rise up, to be better and stronger and braver than before. Whether you are graduating or returning for another year of university, you will have the opportunity to prove yourself.
Have a wonderful summer, my lovely UpbeaT readers. I look forward to hearing all about your student experiences this September.