Bad grades first term? What to do differently this semester

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With term two in full swing, many students are still feeling the effects of fall classes.

This can be especially true among students who were disappointed with their marks last term and want to do much better this time around.

Whether you are trying to recover from one bad course or a bad term, there are ways that you can jump back into the swing of things to do much better.

The first step to help you get back into the groove of things is to make sure that you don’t overdo it. In an effort to achieve perfection many students create a plan so vigorous that they quickly burn out by mid-January. It’s important to pace yourself and approach your new classes with an attitude that won’t end up taking a negative toll on you mentally and physically.

While it’s important not to over-do it, this isn’t an excuse to be lazy. A new semester is the perfect opportunity to recognize your weaknesses and improve upon bad habits.

A good way to stay on top of things is to create a schedule.

This will increase your productivity and make sure you are on the track to success. This schedule should include various things such as your school, work and extra-curricular activities.

By using this tool, you will be able to evaluate whether you have too much on your plate and how you can manage your valuable time.

During this time of year, some students feel the need to do a priority assessment. Many feel trapped and overwhelmed by being involved in too much and need to decide what they can weed out.

This is also a popular time where bad marks can influence a student’s career choice and they may need to seek career counseling. Keeping in close contact with your Academic Advisor is also a very smart move to ensure that you’re on the right track to finishing your degree, regardless of your past marks.

Helpful resources like the science and math help centre also aim to assist students tackling difficult courses.

Be aware of your professors’ office hours and be sure to utilize them, too.

When reviewing your notes after class, be sure to write down any questions you may have and address them the next day. It’s important to understand concepts early on rather than trying to catch up at the end of the term.

Leigh-Ellen Thomas, Student Development Coordinator meets with students on a regular basis in order to tackle some of these difficult academic and time-management issues.

She understands how stressful this process can be and encourages students not to go through it alone. “Any student can come to see me for help with time management, studying, note taking or even how to read a textbook more efficiently,” says Thomas, “Some students will come to see me once a week for a little while and then just check in when life gets crazy.” Leigh-Ellen can provide students with different resources and techniques on how to manage stress and make the very best of their term academically.

For those wishing to meet with her, an appointment can be made at under Student Development. If you feel like this would be a beneficial service for you, be sure to act now and start the new term off on the right foot.

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.