On Stress: After the Storm

Finals week is over, which means that sophomore year is over, which means that I have moved home for the summer to intern and take a couple classes. That means the stress of the previous semester is finally over, right? Wrong.

The several days after your final exams, before your letter grades are released, can be full of some of the most anxiety-ridden hours. If you’re on the line between letter grades, or simply don’t know where you stand in a class, you have experienced the stress, pit in your stomach, and frantic attempts to distract yourself. Having worked hard all semester to receive a simple letter that you may not be satisfied with can make you question everything from your major to your college to your entire future.

I am a strong believer in that someone’s intelligence, let alone their self-worth, is not entirely determined by their grades. But you cannot deny that your academic performance can play a huge part in your quality of job (or lack thereof), graduate school, and overall opportunities that may or may not present themselves. So getting a “bad grade” can be difficult, but it’s far from the end of the world. If you find yourself having taken your final and stressing like crazy, here are a couple things you can do:

1.     Email your professor. They aren’t as heartless and apathetic as they sometimes pretend to be. If you took a final and are genuinely concerned, email them and ask if there is anything you can do. Best case, they may give you a small assignment to bump you up a letter grade. Worst case, they say there’s nothing you can do.

2.     If you talk to your professor, and they say the latter, talk to your academic advisor. It is their literal job to talk to you and give you advice. They can help you talk to your professor, give advice for how to move forward, and help you in the future when it isn’t too late.

3.     If none of the above work, just expect the worst and trust yourself. You may surprise yourself, and end up in a better position than you thought.

4.     If you have received your grades and it isn’t what you wanted, accept it. At this point, there is nothing you can do except better prepare yourself in the future. Now would be the time to make a plan for the next semester and motivate yourself to try harder, plan better, and be more proactive. Now may not have been your time, but you can only go up from here.

This week, some people may be sharing their grades with you or posting their transcripts on social media (which I find utterly absurd, and something I could delve into for a whole other blog). The best thing you can do is not compare yourself to other people. It is unproductive and will not give an accurate representation of your character and skills.

Starting this week, Triangle Park is going to become more collaborative and cohesive. Each week, we’re going to pick a theme, phrase, or idea to prompt our blogs, and see how each generation approaches it. Tune in next week to see what we’ll be delving into!