So stressed out from college =(

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    Nov 03, 2012 7:25 AM GMT
    This year marks my senior year in college and I feel so overwhelmed.

    Finishing my last year at GMU (majoring in comp sci) and my gpa is currently 3.17, and I'm trying so hard to keep it above 3.0 for employment opportunities. But this semester is already not looking good. I just got two midterms back this week and scored in the 60s while the class average was 80 (ouch...). And I thought I did "decent" on those midterms too. I really don't wanna get another C or two this semester since it'll definitely screw up my gpa and drop it below 3.0.

    I don't know what happened to the "straight A/B student" I used to be. I had almost a perfect gpa in high school, and even when I went to the local community college around here (NOVA), I graduated with a 3.6. But when I transferred to GMU during my junior year, things got a whole lot different.

    Honestly, I feel so worn out from college now...
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    Nov 03, 2012 11:51 AM GMT
    Hey I went to GMU too! Go patriots!!!

    And that's college life. I felt the same way senior year. You'll live....
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    Nov 03, 2012 12:33 PM GMT
    Not_Superman saidCollege is not for everyone.
    This might be the single worst piece of advice I have ever heard.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 03, 2012 12:49 PM GMT
    McQueen said
    Not_Superman saidCollege is not for everyone.
    This might be the single worst piece of advice I have ever heard.



    Probably a true statement but no reason to have made it to you.. pretty ridiculous.

    First, congrats for being a senior and making it this far! My suggestion is that you talk to your instructors and ask them how you can get some additional help (whether it be from the instructor.. or from a graduate student tuitor). Ask,... don't get stressed out, anything is possible here.

    You can make it AND YOU WILL! Just ask for help, do it!

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Nov 03, 2012 3:28 PM GMT
    Not_Superman saidCollege is not for everyone.


    though true, i think the more applicable situation is that getting a 4.0 or even a 3.0 at college isn't realistic expectation for everyone, including the op
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    Nov 03, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    It wasn't until grad school that I realized GPA doesn't mean anything other than 3.0 is failing. It might be sensitive to what you know, but it's not specific on what you don't know. Therefore it is a number with not much validity.

    I agree with HndsmKansan. Talk to your instructor. I have had this discussion many, many times with my professors. The undergraduates have this disconnection that professors aren't human or don't live real lives. Students never take the time to let the professor know who they are. It's amazing what a quick conversation in their office will do. Instead they just bitch about the class or the teaching style without taking action.

    Remember you are just a consumer purchasing a product called education. If you are dissatisfied with that product you must do something about it-- no one else.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Nov 03, 2012 5:56 PM GMT
    College is not high school or community college, and I thing you're learning that.

    I'm in university in Canada right now, taking biochemistry. I'm maintaining a 3.5 right now. My secret? Do the readings. You should spend two hours doing homework per lecture hour. If readings don't ate that much time, do practice problems. Just do something course related. It keeps your mind active and focused on the material, and makes things you understand become habit, more than knowledge.
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    Nov 03, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    First of all, congratulation for making this far! It must be a tough journey for you for the past 3 years!

    I can totally understand your situation here. I'm a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, and my current cgpa is 2.98, which is really frustrating because I was trying to make it at least 3.0 but then I got a C on one of my class last semester and it ruined everything. Hopefully I can make this happen semester.

    You can't compare high school with college. Both are two different places/experiences. For instance, in high school, your time is structured by others, but in college, you manage your own time. And from here, you learned how to be self-discipline etc. which will help you in the future.

    Like others said, talk to the professors/instructors of your classes, try to establish an academic relationship with them. Ask them for advices and give them a good impression, it really helps. You will also be able to get some motivation to study well from them. Some seniors told me that if you are lucky, the professor may let you go with a good grade just simply because he/she likes your learning attitude!

    Be positive and don't give up yet! There are still about 6 weeks left (for me), and I'm sure you can figure something out. Put those subjects into priority, go join a study group, spend extra time with that subjects... do anything that helps while you can.

    Good luck! icon_biggrin.gif
  • eagledreamer

    Posts: 198

    Nov 03, 2012 8:29 PM GMT
    Yeah, I'm a junior at a college in MA right now. I'm premed, so there's a lot of pressure on me to do as well as I can - and I know that what GPA you need depends on what you want to go into. For me, I want to go to a good medical school to set up the rest of my career. Because of that, I work incredibly hard (and also party hard), and right now I have around a 3.85 GPA at a top 25 school. I'm applying to med school soon, and I am confident I'll be able to get in somewhere that I want to go.

    That being said, you don't need to ace every class to do "well" in college. In my opinion, doing well in college really doesn't correlate that well to a person's intelligent. Some people just inherently "know" how to study for college, and other people are lucky enough to figure it out. I am definitely more in that second group - when I came to college, I was floundering. Eventually, though, I got it together.

    In your case, I have two pieces of advice. First and foremost, as others have said, do NOT stress about where you are right now. Don't worry about what your GPA is - that is the past. Only concentrate on your next exam and what's coming up. If you end up with a 2.9 when you graduate, you will STILL get a job. The important thing is that you learn what you're studying so that you can perform well in that job. Don't freak out about an exam here or a quiz there...enjoy your senior year and try to work hard.

    My second piece of advice would be some studying advice. If your class is "problem"-based, do a TON of practice problems. This can't be stressed enough. If your class is more lecture-based, then take great notes in lecture and do all the readings. I usually go through my notes point-by-point and consult the textbook with anything that I don't get. Try to really have a solid understanding of the material, not just to be able to spit back what the professor told you.

    If you DO need to memorize some things, then make flash cards. Also, I always make a study guide before an exam (which is usually based on class notes, the book, and any other sources I like to use). Also, sometimes professors suck and don't teach material well. Most students just leaves it at that and accepts they won't learn the material well - don't do that! Look the stuff up online...do extra research. Try to understand the material MORE than you're expected. When you do that, the elementary stuff seems easy.

    Lastly, the BEST advice I can give is to get to know all of your professors. Some are assholes, but on the whole they'll be nice and try to be good to the students that put in the effort to get to know them. Study WELL in advance (meaning review your notes often) and if you have any questions, go to office hours.

    If you do all of that, I PROMISE you'll do as well as you can. You may not get a 4.0, but you don't need to get one. Just do as well as you can. That's what counts.
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    Nov 03, 2012 8:32 PM GMT
    [As a college professor] the most common reasons that students aren't doing as well as they like are:

    i) Poor time-management. Symptom: does H/W night before its due, pulls all-nighters, studies day before quiz. Solution: seek advice from campus study center to develop a more effective timetable for studying.

    ii) Ineffective study habits. Symptom: studies by reading the textbook, looking over homework problems, reviewing notes. Solution: Use *active* study methods, e.g. writing own exam questions, mind mapping, solving fresh problems, using practice exams [TO TIME]. Use other students to maximize these techniques.

    iii) Excessive course load/extracurricular activities. Symptom: Works more than 8 hours a week while holding down a full course load, 5 courses per semester or more where one or more is a challenging class, on sports team or other activity. Solution: Ditch irrelevant extracurricular activities/courses OR develop effective time management strategies to mitigate.

    iv) Insufficient use of other students. Symptom: usually studies alone, not by using other students effectively (focussed study groups using active learning techniques). Solution: Find good students to study with. Ask effective students how they study for the class; how they take notes, etc. COPY their strategies [NOT their answers!]

    v) Doesn't come to class. Solution: come to class.

    vi) Personal/family issues/depression etc Solution: Leave of absence, counseling, other solutions recommended by healthcare professional

    Remember that only the better/best students from high school typically go to college, so being in a pool of highly selected students means one often can't be at the top of the class—and it generally doesn't matter if you're not!

    Remember also that honestly, GPA etc is less important to employment than a lot of people think. Students that can clearly connect their experience and successes in education to real-world tasks will tend to get jobs.

    If you go seek help from a professor, one tip: since most professors are not representative of typical students [they're usually very self-directed learners] and not all of them are very aware of how students actually learn, you can get MUCH MORE out of a professor by asking "can you tell me what students who are really successful in your course are doing?"—you can then DO THIS. My advisees report that this generally gets much more useful advice than simply asking "what can I do?".
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    Nov 03, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
    Just wait until real life starts, kid.
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    Nov 03, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
    deltalimen saidRemember you are just a consumer purchasing a product called education. If you are dissatisfied with that product you must do something about it-- no one else.


    Individual empowerment—YES. Education as a product—absolutely, utterly, horribly WRONG. Viewing education as a product fails to value it fully.
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    Nov 03, 2012 8:47 PM GMT
    High School and Community College (both of which I have graduated from) are not the same as college. You need to learn as you should have as a Junior how to manage your time. This isn't all busy work and just jerking around and spending time with friends- If College is truly important to you, you need to give things up and go get help, you need to learn how to study.

    Reading your words, you sound like a whiner who is simply not putting in the effort. Simple answer: Buck up, lower your shoulder and GET TO WORK.

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    Nov 03, 2012 9:55 PM GMT
    TigerTim said
    deltalimen saidRemember you are just a consumer purchasing a product called education. If you are dissatisfied with that product you must do something about it-- no one else.


    Individual empowerment—YES. Education as a product—absolutely, utterly, horribly WRONG. Viewing education as a product fails to value it fully.


    I don't think it's supposed to be viewed that way, but I'm in my 10th full year of college. With all the worry about loans and money, that's what education has came down to-- money. I'm the one paying the professor's salary. So if I'm not learning anything then there needs to be some sort of compromise.

    Professors don't get any feedback except for those end of semester evaluations, and in most classes, less than 300 students, the evaluations are statistically useless unless the score is a 0 or a 100. I am more than willing to talk with my professors and tell them what I did and did not like about their class, but yet again I'm on first name basis with all the faculty.
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    Nov 03, 2012 10:12 PM GMT
    Klusps saidThis year marks my senior year in college and I feel so overwhelmed.

    Finishing my last year at GMU (majoring in comp sci) and my gpa is currently 3.17, and I'm trying so hard to keep it above 3.0 for employment opportunities. But this semester is already not looking good. I just got two midterms back this week and scored in the 60s while the class average was 80 (ouch...). And I thought I did "decent" on those midterms too. I really don't wanna get another C or two this semester since it'll definitely screw up my gpa and drop it below 3.0.

    I don't know what happened to the "straight A/B student" I used to be. I had almost a perfect gpa in high school, and even when I went to the local community college around here (NOVA), I graduated with a 3.6. But when I transferred to GMU during my junior year, things got a whole lot different.

    Honestly, I feel so worn out from college now...


    if you have one more semester.before graduation...do some classes that are fairly easy. As you said its your senior year so its likely you have open slots to take some easy courses and past with a A. Thats what i did to maintain my 3.12GPA. The senior years is when most college kids GPA fall due to well..exhaustion lol.
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    Nov 03, 2012 10:32 PM GMT
    deltalimen said
    TigerTim said
    deltalimen saidRemember you are just a consumer purchasing a product called education. If you are dissatisfied with that product you must do something about it-- no one else.


    Individual empowerment—YES. Education as a product—absolutely, utterly, horribly WRONG. Viewing education as a product fails to value it fully.


    I don't think it's supposed to be viewed that way, but I'm in my 10th full year of college. With all the worry about loans and money, that's what education has came down to-- money. I'm the one paying the professor's salary. So if I'm not learning anything then there needs to be some sort of compromise.

    Professors don't get any feedback except for those end of semester evaluations, and in most classes, less than 300 students, the evaluations are statistically useless unless the score is a 0 or a 100. I am more than willing to talk with my professors and tell them what I did and did not like about their class, but yet again I'm on first name basis with all the faculty.


    You're in your 10th year?!?! What program are you in?!?!
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    Nov 03, 2012 10:43 PM GMT
    Klusps saidHonestly, I feel so worn out from college now...


    College can do this to you. You can buckle down and encourage yourself, you can take a break, or you can quit. The unspoken option is you can keep going as you are, but I'd recommend you buckle down. The fact that you care about your school performance is important. You can use that to demotivate yourself or to improve your performance.

    Know that being nervous and having a bad few months happens in life. You'll get past it.
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    Nov 03, 2012 10:57 PM GMT
    Well I'm not exactly familiar with the american educational system and I'm in medschool and that always works a little different, still:

    I would highly recommend you to study with other students before a test. They can explain you things in a way that professors usually can't (mostly because they have a way higher level of specific wisdom). Plus most people remember facts best when they are trying to teach them others.

    Not quite sure where I got that from but there's a statistic about the percentage of facts you remember when you're doing different things:

    5% listening to lectures
    10% studying on your own (books etc.)
    30 % studying in a group
    90% teaching
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    Nov 03, 2012 10:58 PM GMT
    JackTwist saidJust wait until real life starts, kid.


    May sound negative, but that's the truth. Being "successful" at whatever usually entails using your resources in the wisest manner possible - time, money, effort, happiness. Everything is an opportunity cost. Why do you need to keep your GPA above a 3.0? To maintain a scholarship, get into a nice grad school, or just for your own personal happiness? If it's to get into a grad school, if you get so stressed just trying to get in to a rigorous program, then you can probably expect as much or even more stress once you get there.

    Would you rather take an easy class so you can enjoy life a bit more and feel less stressed (even if you don't learn or grow as much), or would you prefer to take a more challenging course that could make you grow but could also add to your stress levels and perhaps pull your grades down? There's no right answer in my opinion.

    And finally, better grades doesn't necessarily equate to more money. I was top of my class, yet I make less than some of my friends who chose different career paths.

    So I guess the bottom line is to not stress so much. Figure out what your priorities and goals are, and then act accordingly. Everything has an opportunity cost, so being the savvy gay shoppers that we all are, we just have to find the best deal possible. icon_wink.gif
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    Nov 03, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    I'm at the University of Ottawa for computer science! It's a tough program, lol! And I feel ya, especially at this time of year. Best thing to do is to remeber to relax and don't over study.
  • havingfunmtl9...

    Posts: 258

    Nov 03, 2012 11:15 PM GMT
    Congrats on making it to your senior year!

    I just finished my Master of Science (Management) at an Ivey League Business School and am in the process of working on my PhD - I can completely relate! You have to put your head down and plow through the work and stress. It is a good thing to be a little stressed (and that 'little bit' will depend on your own individual comfort levels) but do not let it paralyze you. One of my friends was just this morning saying how overwhelmed she felt and how discouraged she was and I just told her, "when you feel like you are dead in the water, somehow the tide seems to pull you ashore". You will get through this and most employers just want to see that you have a degree (depending on the industry, but generally speaking).

    Good luck !

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    Nov 03, 2012 11:40 PM GMT
    I did my undergrad at Mason, too. Great school. Most technology employers don't really care what your GPA is, and if it's not above 3.5 I wouldn't bother advertising it anyway if I were you. You can still get a great job by demonstrating your capability, technical curiosity, willingness to learn and ability get the job done. I've been a tech manager for a decade and have done a lot of hiring, and most of it was in the NoVA/DC area. Give yourself a break and do your best. College is fun, work less so -- enjoy it while you can.
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    Nov 03, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    SF79 saidI did my undergrad at Mason, too. Great school. Most technology employers don't really care what your GPA is, and if it's not above 3.5 I wouldn't bother advertising it anyway if I were you. You can still get a great job by demonstrating your capability, technical curiosity, willingness to learn and ability get the job done. I've been a tech manager for a decade and have done a lot of hiring, and most of it was in the NoVA/DC area. Give yourself a break and do your best. College is fun, work less so -- enjoy it while you can.


    I second that, I stressed out so much my last semester that I drove myself crazy, and forgot how much I really LOVED college
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    Nov 04, 2012 12:21 AM GMT
    Is anyone in college not stressed? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 04, 2012 12:57 AM GMT
    Senior year you've got this! I've been a sophomore for 2 years. FINALLY have my GPA back up. So you're doing something right. Add an extra day of studying. Go to class 30 mins early review last weeks notes. Started doing that this semester and you def retain a lot more information.