Some students struggle with college from time to time. If it was one's first semester or a result of a personal crisis, bad grades happen. It is possible to bounce back from a bad semester, improve grades, and return to good academic standing. These tips can help any student looking to improve his or her college performance.

Part 1


Identify Problems

The first step in fixing a problem is identifying exactly what went wrong. Why did you have a bad semester? Did you skip class, stay out partying, and fail to study? Were you working too many hours at your job? Did you have personal problems that interfered with your focus and motivation? Did you take too many hours and overschedule yourself? Each of these problems requires a different solution. Take time to identify and list any factors that contributed to your bad semester.


Clarify Motivation

Some students simply lack motivation while others are conflicted and trying to do too many things at once. What were your priorities when you had the bad semester? How will you need to change them? If you want to complete your degree, you may need to prioritize school over partying, gaming, television, time with friends, and other social pursuits.


Break Bad Habits

Once you have identified problems and clarified your motivations, you will need to begin breaking bad habits. Did you have problems sleeping through class, procrastinating, or partying? Changing old habits isn't easy and may require significant steps such as changing the people you hang out with or seeking professional help if you feel your drinking is out of control. Breaking bad habits may take time, but set goals and look for progress not perfection.


Make a Commitment to Positive Actions

Good grades are the result of consistent positive actions throughout the entire semester. Begin my making a commitment to attend every class and do all assignments on time. If you require additional assistance, you may want to commit to attending tutorials, working with the campus tutoring center, visiting with professors during office hours, and forming study groups. Write down your plans and stick to them.


Eliminate Time Wasters

Sometime students have a bad semester because small things took over all study time. Time wasters such as social media, forums, video games, and television can go from little distractions to all-consuming activities. If you spent more time procrastinating than you did studying, you may need to eliminate the source. Send the gaming system home, uninstall social media apps from your phone, and resolve not to visit forums or websites until all your assignments are done.


Start Acting Like an Adult

All of the above tips are helpful, but sometimes students need to be reminded to act like adults. Few adults have the luxury of wasting an entire semester. If you want to turn around a bad semester at school, start acting like an adult. Keep regular hours. Set goals. Do your work well and on time. Recognize those friends who help you achieve more and avoid those who are getting in your way. In other words, take charge of your own life.


Remember College Is a Choice

Some students forget that college is a choice. If you want to be there, you will take the steps necessary to bounce back from a bad semester. If after identifying the problems and examining your motivation, you are still in doubt about whether college is right for you, consider taking a semester off.

College is a period of transition and many students struggle to adjust from the structure of high school to the more relaxed environment of college. From time to time even good students can have a bad semester.


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