Overcoming Unexpected Grades

College is more difficult than high school, and you may go through an academic rough patch at some point during your time here. We want you to be prepared when talking with your family about any unexpected or challenging grades. While they may be upset or disappointed, especially if they are used to seeing you be a straight-A student in high school, know that they are coming from a place of care and want to see you succeed. Here are three key steps to help you have these challenging conversations with your family in a productive manner.

  • Be 100% honest. It’s best to just rip the bandage off and let them know directly instead of dragging it out longer. Chances are, your family will appreciate your honesty and will be more likely and willing to hear you out.

  • Own up to it. Take the ownership for your poor grades, but don’t beat yourself up over it. If you felt you did your best, let your family know that. By taking responsibility, both you and your family will be able to move forward with the situation. Evaluate what could be improved on for next time and make a plan of action.

  • Create an improvement plan. It may be best to do this before you talk to your family. Whether you are planning to visit with your professor to discuss how you can perform better in their class or take advantage of the free tutoring offered on campus, let your family know you have a plan in place and have carefully thought about how you will move forward. To help your family feel involved in your education, ask them what additional ideas they may have to help you improve. This will reassure them that you are working toward improvement and can allow them to help you stay accountable.

  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor through TechConnect.Your advisor’s role is to help guide you toward success, and they have the resources and knowledge to help you decide what to do if you aren’t doing as well as you had hoped in a class. Withdrawing from a class is not the right decision for every situation, but your advisor can help you decide on the best solution. Letting your family know you are meeting with your advisor to discuss options and additional ways to improve can be another sign to them that you are taking responsibility for your academic career.