You’ve probably heard this a lot, right? You’ve heard it from your teachers, from leaders at your orientation, even from your heart. It’s in the same league of common knowledge that tells you not to write “LOL WTF” to conclude your paper on neoliberalism.
This knowledge I’m talking about is of course, is the awareness that your grades will drop in your first year of university. I really could’ve just said that at the beginning, but I’m a big fan of ridiculously unnecessary explanations.
I was consistently reminded of this in high school, and I always thought it was bogus. First of all – teacher, you know my name, not my story. Second of all, I thought you guys were supposed to be the wind beneath my wings – why won’t you let me fly?
Well they were right. I’m glad they prepared me. Preparation was the key to my sanity. Grade deflation happens to almost everybody. Maybe some people won’t drop as far as others, but it is unrealistic to assume you can keep up the same momentum that you did in the comfort of high school.
The drop in grades is inevitable. There are so many things you have to adapt to in university – whether it is living alone for the first time, balancing your social life, or dealing with the fact that “hamburger” essays just don’t cut it anymore. It would be absurd to assume that you are able keep up a 90%+ average in university in your first year, all while trying to adjust to a completely new environment.
The most important thing to remember is that this is not permanent. Your grades will get better, and eventually, with enough dedication, you will be able to bounce back and start receiving grades that you were used to getting in your high school days. In first year you’ll learn from your mistakes, and grow from them... Can I have a mac with that cheese?
You’ll learn the importance of time management – maybe you shouldn’t go the Green Room if you have a final the next day?
You’ll learn the importance of taking courses that you’re actually interested in – sure, if you take that botany class, you’ll have Thursday AND Friday off, but do you even know what botany is?
You’ll learn that first-year grades are just that – first-year grades. You still a few more years to improve your GPA, and be honest with yourself. Do you really think most grad schools will be rejecting you on the basis of your first year grades? (Hint: they will not.)
So, UofT, just like that one poster you’re embarrassed of owning says: “Keep Calm and Carry On.”