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Fact Sheet

Coping with bad grades

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Not doing as well as you expected on your exams can be really tough, especially if you need higher grades to get into a particular college, graduate school or career. It can also be tough if you feel like you didn’t meet your family members’ or teachers’ expectations.

You might be feeling a variety of feelings, including disappointment, anger, numbness, guilt, confusion, sadness, physical sickness or hopelessness. Getting a bad grade can be especially difficult if your friends are celebrating and are happy over their grades—or if you feel you really studied hard for the exam.

Tips for coping with bad grades

Even though your grades might not be what you were hoping for, they don’t mean that your future is hopeless, that you’re a failure, or you won’t be able to achieve great things. Here are some suggestions that can help you manage the situation:

Talk to someone outside the situation. Talking to a friend, teacher, professor, or school or college counselor can be a great way of expressing your feelings and exploring other options. A teacher or professor in particular might be able to help you brainstorm ideas to boost your grades, like extra credit or tutoring.

Talk to people who are setting unhelpful expectations. If you’re feeling academic pressure from the people around you, try to talk to them. Discuss the pressure you’re feeling without laying blame. For example, try using phrases like “I feel like anxious/stressed when you…”

Challenge and reset your expectations. Sometimes, the biggest pressures we feel come from our own expectations. It can be helpful to re-think your own expectations to help you decide if they’re realistic and achievable. A useful question to ask yourself might be ”What would I suggest to a friend in this situation?” For more information, check out the Managing expectations fact sheet.

Explore other options for the future.  It's likely one bad grade won't change the course of future. Sometimes expectations are only focused on one outcome, and if you don’t meet that outcome, you might feel disappointed or like you’ve failed. Usually there are a number of ways to achieve a goal. It might help to talk to someone you trust about what some different strategies might be. Try talking to friends, family members, teachers or a counselor.

Chill out. Sometimes getting some space and a change of scenery can be helpful, and it’s important to give yourself permission to do this. Try going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, reading a book or going to the movies—whatever makes you happiest.

Express your feelings. Write down your feelings in a journal. This can be a great way to help you understand a situation and your expectations for the outcomes. Journaling can also help you think about alternative solutions to problems. You might want to also try expression yourself in other ways, like yelling, crying into a pillow or dancing around your room to loud music.

Look after yourself. Expectations can lead to a lot of stress. It’s important to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself physically as well as mentally. Even though you might not feel like it or think you don’t have time, exercising and eating well can help you feel better. Making sure you are getting enough sleep can also help.

Exercise helps stimulate hormones that help you feel better physically and emotionally. If you haven’t exercised a lot before, it might be a good idea to start out by doing something small a couple of times each week, like a 15-minute walk or a few laps in a pool. You can also visit your medical doctor for a check-up to make sure you’re physically healthy.

Avoid drugs and alcohol. Try not to use alcohol or other drugs—including lots of caffeine or other energy drinks—in the hope of feeling better or forgetting about expectations and pressure. The feeling is usually temporary and after the substance wears off, you often feel worse than when you started.

Where to Next?

Comments

Responses

  • avatar2

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    PinkForever

    I got a bad grade for my English test, and I want to ask my teacher about my grade. I kinda ruined my reputation, so I feel nervous to confront my teacher. What should I do? Do you have any study tips for me?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Talking to your teacher is a good way to handle it.  Even if you’ve done something in the past, their job is to help you learn.  If you think the teacher is upset with you about the previous problem, maybe you could just start with a quick apology or acknowledgement that it’s uncomfortable, but let them know that you really want to improve your work and test scores.

      Some people have good success with setting a timer for a certain amount of time, then studying hard for that time, and giving yourself a small reward when the timer goes off.  Make popcorn, do something to take a short break, and then set the timer again.

      You can do this!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    AdelaideMie

    Hellow Guys. My name is Adelaide, 3rd year college and I’m from Philippines. My problem is that I have too much expectation for myself that if I was not able to met that expectation I felt very very bad.
    Before, when I was in 2nd year college I did not expected that I would get high grades.But now I’m already 3rd year college even if I don’t want to get sad whenever I get low scores in quiz or I didn’t do great in an activity I really feel very sad and lonely. I just don’t know what to do with myself.  That is why I am writing here.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Maybe you could think about these things:  Are you expecting too much from yourself?  Is someone else expecting too much from you?  Are you honestly working as hard as you should? Have you chosen an area of study that might be too difficult?  Are there adjustments you should make?

      Maybe there’s someone you can talk to about these things, like a school counselor, or some other trusted person, who might be able to help you.  Sometimes talking can bring a new perspective.  If you want to talk it over in our forums, you’re always welcome there.  To get there, just click the word “Forums” at the top of this page, or go here:  http://us.reachout.com/forums/forum.php

      Best of luck to you!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    alphacentauri

    Dear ReachOut,

    I just got my results for my finals that I wrote in March. This entire academic year (year 10) has been both mentally and emotionally stressful as I was absent for most of the year and had to end up talking to the headmistress about my mental health. She was kind and understanding, and reassured me that she will help me pass, and in turn I reassured her that I will get good grades in my finals, but now that I got my results I feel like I’ve failed and upset a lot of people. My family, my teachers and my headmistress. My school does not have year 11 and year 12, so I’ll have to seek admission in another school. I’m extremely passionate about science, and I want a career in this field. But my grades in science were very, very low because I was demotivated and unable to handle my stress. I talked to my parents, who are extremely supportive of my endeavors, and my dad told me to look into something other than science, which is something that really hit me hard. I have no other passion but science! And I don’t want to spend my entire life doing something else. But schools are hard to get into, especially with my grades. I don’t know what to do. I know that I have potential, that if I work hard I can end up surprising a lot of people. I’ve even started revising my math. But I’ve put myself in such a bad situation, wherein I don’t have many options because I didn’t work hard enough. I feel guilty, EXTREMELY sad because I may not be able to pursue the career that I truly want, and I’m mostly disappointed in myself. What do I do, what do I do? I’m almost at the point where I want to draw up a blueprint to invent a time machine and go back and erase my terrible grades. For the first time in years my failure has truly upset me, and I’m unable to pick myself back up. What if none of the schools take me in? What if I’m not convincing enough? If I’m given the chance to talk to a Principal, I’ll use that opportunity to assure them that I am passionate, that I’ve realized my mistakes, and will work hard. But what if I don’t? What if they look at my grades and decide immediately that I don’t deserve admission? I’m so scared.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      What if you’re just honest about the stresses you had, and let them know that things are better, and you’re ready to resume your hard-working behaviors?  Many people have a rough year, and then go on to accomplish great things.  Keep applying until a school accepts you, and then show them what you can really do!

  • avatar2

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    TheMman

    Im in my last year of high school and ive never been good at math, and me being outside the Us are Application process for University is a little diffrent the look at your first semester final report card and you second semester midterm report card, i did pretty well in 1 semester,but in second semester calculus has destroyed my hopes of getting into uni. I dont mean to sound spoiled but i started off with a 85% in that class and my teacher singing my prasies and now after a couple of tests i have found my self not passing with midterm report cards a couple of days away and my teacher trying to cover her tracks and say i talk all class (85% on first test failed other 2) i feel like i have dissapointed my self and my parents (who have supported me throughout this whole ordeal) calculus has pretty much crushed my dreams of getting into university and i fell hollow because of it.Sorry for rambling on i just needed ot get this out of my system.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Any chance you could get some extra help, maybe bring up the grade?

      Good luck,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    monicav

    I just started high school and today was parent teacher interviews and my parents went they came back not so happy because of one grade. I have never been good in math like never but I do try I handed in all the homework and assignments but on the quizzes and tests I did poorly it’s only been 2 units but i’m failing with a 38% but in other classes im getting 80s and 90s with my lowest grade being 79%. These grades may not seem the best but every year I have noticed I have improved in middle school I lacked never getting higher than 75% in any subject so I think I improved tremendously but my parents just dont care they never once in my life said ‘‘good job’‘. I barely hug my parents I feel so worthless and I just will never be good enough for them and I know what your gonna say that it’s okay things will get better and they do but its just not good enough for my parents no matter how hard I try to succeed they won’t care all I am to them is a mistake.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi monica,

      It’s so hard when it feels like you can never measure up to your parents’ expectations.  It’s good that you’re able to see the places that you’ve succeeded, and the areas where you’re improving.  For now, that might have to be enough for you, to let yourself be satisfied with those advances.  Congratulations on doing better and better in those areas, and keep working hard.  It really is worth it in the end.  Don’t give up!

  • avatar2

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    EmSheridan

    Hi!  I feel sad because mostly I only got mostly B’s and C’s on my grades.. Im ni college now,  and I feel like I should be aiming for an A. Last semester I really did try my best to get good grades and to also be on the Dean’s List but sadly my grade wasn’t enough. I’m sad because I really did my best and yet my profs doesnt seem to recognize my efforts.  I think I deserve a better grade and not just a B. But things doesnt seem to go my way now.  I feel so depressed and sad. I’m doing the best that I could and yet It wasn’t enough for them.  I just want to be recognized by my efforts and not the other way around.  My friends who doesn’t even answer in class discussions have higher grades than me.  I dont know why and our scores on quizzes and tests are also quite a like still,  they have higher grades than me.  I badly want to have straight A’s so I can get a scholarship.  I really want to help my mom in financial matters.  And getting a scholarship is the only way i can continue my study and can be able to help my mom. Im sad and stressed right now.  I cant talk to anyone, pls help me.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      College is a lot different, isn’t it? They tend to grade more on results than effort.  Keep trying, though, and keep working hard and participating.  There’s a quote that says, “Reach for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”  Try not to think too much about what your friend is doing… just keep giving your best effort and trying hard.  Talk to your profs if you think that might help.  It’s pretty normal for grades to drop a bit in college.  You’ll find your way!

      You can!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    frosenmangoes

    Dear ReachOut, I would love your help. I am a middle schooler, first year in middle school,  as a matter of fact. But, I’ve got an anxiety disorder + ADD, and this has really caused problems and majorly affected my grades. The anxiety has also gotten worse than before I moved grades due to an unfortunate family incident that caused me to also develop another disorder known as posttraumatic stress syndrome. I have gotten a D and a C in Social Studies, and a D and a D in English.  The sad thing is, I’m really good in English,  just not with turning things in. And the constant pressure of my grandmother isn’t helping. Also, my mind is constantly questioning whether or not I’ll pass. Interims are coming in and I’m horrified!  Advice?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hello!  We try not to give advice, but we do think that it’s usually best to try talking to someone about what’s going on, and seeking help.  Have you talked to your teachers, or maybe a counselor at school?  It’s ok to ask for extra help!  What if you found a fun notebook to make daily lists of tasks, and then checked them off as you accomplished them—would that help?  You might be surprised how satisfying it is to scratch through items on a list!

      One day at a time, friend!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    ineedhelppish

    I’m almost graduating(GR11) and I’ve been working my butt off to do well, but I’m no where near what I need to get into my desired universities. :( I’m always being told that my grades should be over 95%, but I honestly sometimes, I barely get over 86% (Where I’m from an A starts at 85.5%). I’m so worried that I won’t be able to go into university. It’s an absolute stressor. I have tutors to help, but i don’t think it’s doing much good and my parents are paying for it all. It’s difficult meeting expectations and I feel like I’m always backstabbing my parents. It makes me feel extremely guilty. Like I’m wasting their money and time. They always say that they are supporting me, but they always show their disappointment so obviously that I just have a part of me that dies when I see them.

    Anxiety is beginning to pick up and I can’t go to sleep nor can I pay attention for long periods of time without having a thought that that I’m disappointing someone again and that I’m being judged. I don’t know what to do…

    Throughout middle school, my grades have always been on top and I was labeled as the “smart one”, but I knew better. I had always been struggling and as I entered high school, my grades started failing me. I transferred schools to do better, but I’m realizing that my grades falling even more drastically. I don’t know what I want to do anymore. I really want to do well in school and graduate, get into university, and study psychology and political sciences, but I’m almost certain that my grades aren’t going to get me anywhere.

    Teachers are always saying that grades are just a number, but everyone knows that it’s a lot more than that. It’s the number that will determine where one will go to university and how successful one will be. It determines the future and how one will spend their adult life. My parents are always stating that the numbers in high school will determine my success and happiness, and I’m so sure that that is true.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It’s good that you’ve been working hard and getting extra help.  It might just take a little longer for all of that to really take effect.  You could also talk to your teachers to see if there are certain areas that you should be working harder to improve in. Maybe it’s time to have a talk with your parents about how hard you’re working, how difficult the stress is, and how much you feel like you’re disappointing them, and work to come to a middle ground together.

      Good luck,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    Msama

    I feel so bad. My grades were perfect but now are not at all
    I just got 60 in analytic chemistry “its my first year in pharmacy collage” hardly I passed the first Semester… especially in analytic and organic chemistry ... I think I Need help .. Don’t tell me to study with study group,it’s not help at all ... The other students don’t want to ... Well I think I just want to talk

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It’s hard when we place a high expectation on ourselves, and then feel like we’ve fallen short.  Maybe talking to the teacher or professor about it would help a little?  They might have some ideas for you, or ways to better learn the material.

      Remember that you aren’t the first person to struggle with classes.  Perhaps you could talk to some people from your school who have taken classes like yours, and see what tips they have to offer.

      Keep trying,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    jojo7

    Hi! So I’m in 8th grade and i did my midterm for algebra 1. I got an 89 and I know thats not too bad. I recently did a math test and I think i failed. I skipped over a lot of problems and some of the ones i did do i got wrong. I didn’t get to go back and check because there was a shortened class. the teacher will definitely not give us extra time. i feel like i failed and got a 0!!! I usually get 100
    Im afraid that my friends will make fun of me
    and others will gossip about me
    people tend to peer at other people’s papers when the tests are passed back out and we usually go over it so i can’t just stuff it into my backpack….
    what should i do about my grade and keeping it a secret?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Well, the test is over, and the grade is your grade. That can be pretty embarrassing, when it feels like everyone is looking at your test paper.  You probably can’t hide it from everyone, so maybe you should just “own it.”  Maybe shrug, and say, “Well, I guess I need some help,” and then just leave the paper right in the middle of your desk.  No need to laugh, cry, smile, scream—it is what it is. If you don’t react too much, others might not, either.

      Good luck!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    AltoCo

    Hi, I’m a Freshman in High school, and I just moved to another state a few months ago from another one (in the same country). At my other school, I was really happy. I had a lot of friends, amazing grades, and was apart of a great band program. Now I have no friends, terrible grades, and since my friends aren’t in band, it’s not so amazing. I study, and I’m trying my hardest, but I don’t know what to do. My grades just keep dropping and even when I feel confident on a test, I still bomb it… I don’t know what to do. I feel like no matter how hard I try, it’s not worth it and that maybe I should just give up?

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Don’t give up! Adjusting to a new school can take some time. Maybe it’s a good time to branch out into new activities, especially since you didn’t find the band at the new school to be as fulfilling as your past band.

      Try talking to your teachers before a test, and let them know about your concerns.  See if you can get a little extra help. You might just need a small push to get you going and back on the right path. But don’t give up!

      We’re on your side,
      The ReachOut Team

  • avatar2

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    Jsercret

    I’m in seventh grade and my mom gets pissed everyday because I come home and my grade in Algebra 1 goes down every day. I strongly dislike my teacher and I try my hardest to listen in class but I just don’t understand it.
    Sometimes I just get so mad at myself that I don’t even bother to attempt my Homework… Jsecret

  • avatar2

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    Renessa

    Hi, I am a high school senior student in India!can i get some support? My grades are going down! terribly down! math is my favorite subject! But I have done terribly bad in this semester exam! If the second test in this semester goes like this then I am not allowed to give the final senior high school exam! it is not that I am poor in maths! Just this time I was blank in the exam hall, I don’t know why? and my confidence level is going down totally! I just can’t concentrate!

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      What can you do to get some extra help?  Would your teacher be willing to work with you?  Would friends be willing to study with you?  Maybe just hearing the material from different perspectives would help you grasp it better?  It sounds like you also just need to find some ways to relax and take breaks.  Can you find time to just listen to music, and clear your head a bit, for instance?  It’s normal to feel a lot of stress during exam time.  Be sure you’re talking to someone about it!

      You’ve got this!
      —The ReachOut Crew

      • avatar2

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        Renessa

        I have talked to my mom. She is supporting me and advising me to be cool minded. But i know she is worried and stressed about my result although she isn’t showing it.My mom and dad are doing a lot for me,they are working very hard, even i have tutors and my parents are paying them too, whatever i need they just fulfill my needs within no time.Still if i give them this result ..... it doesn’t feel good….feeling guilty….feeling sad for them!
        I just wanted to open up a bit here and to let my stress out.

        • avatar1

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          ReachOut

          Your family sounds really great, very supportive. It makes me think that you’ll be able to overcome a lot, with their love and support!  It’s good that you came here to let out some of the stress.  You can also use our forums—there’s more interaction there!  Just click at the top of this page, where it says “Forums,” and you’ll be able to easily get there, using the same log-in.

  • avatar2

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    Alchemist3

    I recently took midterms (8th), and got 3 A’s, 3 B’s, and a C… I’ve never gotten a C before, and It was in Algebra. Algebra is usually one of my best classes, especially because all semester I’ve gotten A’s and B’s on every test and classwork, and It’s never been any trouble, so getting a C is kind of scary. I’m sort of worried because my friends said the exam was easy to them, but I felt it was extremely hard, even after I had studied for 4 hours the night before and an hour that morning as a quick review. I know that essentially grades aren’t of the utmost importance until high school, but it still gets me a bit nervous, especially because I don’t want to retake Algebra I in high school because of a C…

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Could you talk to your teacher about getting some extra help in Algebra, maybe just reviewing the concepts where you’re struggling?  Would a friend or family member be willing to go over it with you?  It’s normal to feel a lot of pressure to get good grades, but try to remember that you’re a great person, regardless of what your marks are.

      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    ladyreindeer

    I recently took a college entrance exam. I prepared, study for it. My parents were very supportive, so I guess it makes sense for them to be disappointed when I didn’t do as well as I prepared for. Personally, I didn’t think I did too badly. I mean, it wasn’t up to expectations and I probably need to take it again, but I improved a lot. Like this article said, learning is a process and I’ll learn from my mistakes. However, after I heard my parents speaking to each other and seeing them so upset, I feel really bad. The other day, I was nagging my mom to do something and she came on saying that I shouldn’t be one to talk. She didn’t say it directly, but I knew what she meant. She was probably just trying to shut me up, but I felt so depressed afterwards. I feel so embarrassed about my exam now, it’s starting to effect my self-esteem. I can forget about it for awhile, just hang out with friends and get a breath of fresh air, but if my parents or friends bring my exam, I don’t know what I’d do. I just wanna hide in a hole. I’m not suicidal or anything, but I hate life right now.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Not doing as well as you expected can be really disappointing!  Sounds like you worked hard and prepared, so it’s natural that you’d feel a bit upset that it didn’t go as well as you’d hoped.  Maybe talking to someone who is outside the situation (like a teacher, or a school counselor) might help you gain some perspective? 

      We hope that you can remember that regardless of any score on any test, you’re still a pretty awesome person!

      Take care,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    annabell2010

    I’d just like to mention that’s it’s interesting that the majority of people here who seem to be proactive in looking for other people who can understand their perspective (I.e looking online) are those who actually have unbelieablity high academic ability.

    Either way, I feel I’m in a similar boat.
    This year, I feel I slacked on my schooling. Or rather, I started to regain the social life that I’d locked away by holing myself up on a computer through years 7-8. My parents warned me, but I brushed them off in typical teenage fashion “it’s my life!” “Let me learn to make mistakes” “I’m able to make my own agenda!”
    And of course my grades dropped.
    I’m here in Aus, but I’m fairly sure the grades are similar. Either way, this year I improved upon my optional subjects, and probably maintained a steady A on my main core subjects. (We have yet to receive our end of year reports back)
    However, I have begun to flunk out at what was to be my career pathway, and it terrifies me that I should be incapable of getting perfect scores. Because it’s math. Because every answer is there, and I know them. My problem is in the tiny and minuscule errors that get made up in precalculus and in quadratic functions and logarithms. A negative instead of a positive, a rushed answer that was left unfinished. At the very end of the year, I’ve been handed many a B.

    It’s left me with guilt, because I know I could achieve straight As in this subject. No, straight A+s If I was determined in such a way. Yet it’s dropped because of accuracy. I spend half my lesson providing aid to students, who have no idea what they’re doing, yet somehow get better grades than myself on the test! It kills me.
    It makes me want to change my ways next year. Perform better in this. Also in my extra curricular piano, which dropped in my grade six exams (I did two full grade exams in a year, mind you) to a B+ as well.

    The guilt that I’ve let down my teacher, my parents, but mostly myself, is there. I think I just needed to get that out. Either way, I WILL improve.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      It’s really good that you already know the places where you can improve, and that you’re determined to do even better.  You seem like a really smart, driven person!
      Best of luck to you!
      —The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    mygradesmytestsidekanymore

    I faked my name and account just in case but hey I’m in middle school and my grades are all A’s but like. I barely achieve them only by doing extra credit and homework. Whenever I take tests I try really hard to study but I only get a hundred if I memorize it and like if we only have a study guide that is the practice test that is exactly like the real test. I feel like I failed. My parents are supportive but all my friends always succeed and I ALWAYS have the lowest score it makes me feel dumb but I just need to know why do I always fail the test? Especially in English Language Arts and Language Arts Essentials. I’m scared and my parents kind of have high expectations for me they believe I’m smart… please help

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Is it possible that you’re expecting too much from yourself?  You said you have all A’s—that’s really awesome!  It sounds like you have to work really hard to get those grades.  Have you ever talked to your teachers to see if they have any tips for you?  Maybe an honest talk with your parents about how much stress this is all causing you might help, too.  This fact sheet talks about stress, and how it can affect you:  http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/stress 

      We really hope things start to get better.  Feel free to join the forums and talk to your peers about this.  Just click the “forums” icon at the top of this page to get started.

      Take care,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    TheNulgarian

    I’m in Middle School right now. My parents are a little old-fashioned. They constantly set the bar higher and higher for me. My sister is in 11th grade and she is taking all AP or honors courses at a fancy private school. My parents seem to expect the same from me but I’m not that good. It’s not that my grades are terrible. I have 4 A’s and 2 B’s in Science and Geometry. (My school offers advanced courses so yes I am taking tenth grade Geometry in 8th grade.) I have read a lot of advice books and they say you should talk to your parents. The thing is, my parents are not really the talking type. They believe that my grades are from being lazy instead of just being unable. I constantly forget homework and get F’s on the small assignments. Compound that with some problems at home and my life just feels out of control. I am scared that if I get B’s I won’t go to a good college and therefore won’t get a good job. On top of that, my parents have banned all forms of TV, video games, and computer on weekdays so i can’t even entertain myself. I just don’t know what to do.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hey!  It sounds like you’re really feeling a lot of pressure from your parents’ expectations.  If you don’t feel like you can talk to them, is there someone else you could talk to about it?  Maybe a counselor at school?  You can always call the Your Life Your Voice helpline at 1-800-448-3000 and talk to them about this. They’ve got tons of ideas and resources.  Also, read this fact sheet:  http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/flunking-at-school-or-college  It’s about flunking, which ISN"T your problem! But it’s also just about getting worse grades than you want, and has some good ideas and tips.  Hopefully it will help you.

      Take care,
      The ReachOut Crew

  • avatar2

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    Arithmetic13

    Throughout middle school, I was known as the “smart child”. I aced all of my classes with ease and I never had any trouble getting it. I began hearing people telling me that high school grades were very important, and that basically you’d fail in life if you didn’t get great grades. I looked all around me and to me it looked like these people were struggling because they weren’t able to receive opportunities because of their grades in high school. So I set up my goal of getting a 4.0 in high school because that is what people had labeled me, and to me if I didn’t get one, I’d die.

    My parents never really cared about me getting all A’s, they were pleased, but not overjoyed, they’d come to expect it from me. My parent’s divorced, and they don’t seem to notice my problems until I break down.

    Then I hit high school, and I can’t begin to believe all the pressure I have managed to put on myself. I wanted to go to an ivy league college, because otherwise I thought for the rest of my life I’d be unhappy. And when ever someone uses the word smart to describe someone, they always follow up by describing their 4.0. I believe I’m going to get a A- in one of my classes this semester, and it’s killing me. And I hate they fact because the grading system has made me stop loving learning in order to get an A. I don’t know what to do, because I feel absolutely terrified at the thought of not getting an a, because I don’t who I am anymore, or how I’m going to be happy.

    My anxiety issues have picked up a ton, and I can’t seem to relax because whenever I do, I flip out because I’ve wasted time I could’ve used to be studying, and I feel depressed a lot because of it.

    I don’t know what I’m to do with myself anymore, I’m losing my identity, and my goals in life. I just want to know that I’m successful and that I can be happy, and I want to be able to love learning again.

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      ReachOut

      It seems like you have so much pressure on you, and I’m so sorry about that! When things feel heavy, one thing you can always do is call the Boys Town Hotline at 1-800-448-3000.  There are people there to talk to you any time, 24/7, about anything you need to talk about. It’s free and confidential (and not just for boys!).  Sometimes it can really help to talk to someone who is outside the situation.  Why not give it a try?

      We care about you,
      The ReachOut Crew

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    KappaDove

          This past year, especially this quarter, has been hard on me. I’ve been dealing with a lot family issues, because of the chronic pain my Mother deals with has caused her to become severely depressed. Yet that same disease that causes her depression also causes pain to flare up if she uses antidepressants. Last year her pain and depression weren’t as bad, so I was able to get mostly As and a few Bs while I’ve been at UCLA but she continuously spirals downward into a darker place. Also, it’s the seventh week of the quarter, yet I’m still recovering from an illness that I got during the second week. My grades dropped from As to a low A, a B, and (hopefully) a C. I haven’t had a C since middle school. My academic achievements are not only my future since I plan on trying to get my PhD, they’re also my identity.
          I know that it would seem silly to claim that her depression is becoming my own, especially since depression is a chemical imbalance, not a contagious disease, and I lack the suicidal impulses she’s dealing with, but I feel like I’m drowning in sorrow and helplessness at times. I just…don’t feel like myself. I used to read all the time, but I have no time left between my studies, my work, and my sorority. I don’t have the grades I wanted, expected, or am okay with. There’s been tension in my relationship with my Mom, and she’s not only my best friend but also the other half of me. And I’m not as optimistic, spiritual, or determined as I usually am. Everything feels difficult, everything’s a chore, and I don’t get enjoyment on any of the activities I used to.
          I’m hoping that maybe I’ll be able to look back and see this quarter as an achievement of my own resilience and not a failure, but it’s hard. I understand that I have so many external factors affecting my life right now, but I can’t explain all of these factors to anyone else, so I feel as if people will think my grades reflect negatively about me.

    • avatar1

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      ReachOut

      Hi KappaDove. It sounds like you’re going through a lot and like you are indeed a resilient person. Do you have a support network? You could try talking to your teachers just to let them know what’s going on and why your performance isn’t as good as you’d like it to be. Maybe you could get extensions or opportunities to make-up work, etc. You might also want to look at talking to a counselor about your feelings. Talking can really help and a mental health professional may be able to help you find some coping strategies. Best of luck.

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    dimitriusg36

    I feel like majority of the others. I moved from Florida to Virginia. I am in Algebra and basically failing the class. Today, I decided to step down to Pre-Algebra. I was failing every quiz and test. Not only Algebra, but Science. I took a test and received a 66, which here is an F. I wish I had good tips on what to do. I am feeling like a complete failure. I hate coping with bad grades, though.

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      ReachOut

      It’s hard when your reality (your grades) don’t match the expectations you have for yourself!  Maybe it’s time to talk to your school counselor or adviser, and see what other changes should be made that might increase your chances of success.  This fact sheet has some tips for improving your study skills, as well:  http://us.reachout.com/facts/factsheet/exam-time-tips-for-effective-studying

      The important thing is to never give up.  Keep pushing through, and things will get better. 

      Take care,
      The ReachOut Crew

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