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I am on the verge of despair.

Jovian90Jovian90 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
Hi, right now I am on the first semester of my second year of community college and let's just say things are not going well for me, I am taking 3 classes: college algebra, general chemistry, and general biology and I am doing poorly in all three of them. What do I do? It's been 3 weeks and things haven't improved I am honestly thinking about withdrawing. Last year was completely different, I got good grades and made the president's list but now I feel like a complete failure. I am right now getting a "C" in General Chemistry a "B" in General Biology and a "D" in College Algebra. I feel like a stupid loser and I am thinking about dropping out of school. Is that a good idea?

Replies to: I am on the verge of despair.

  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,332 Senior Member
    What happens if you drop one class? Is it too late to pick up something you are strong in to replace it? I’d say stay with Chem and Bio. Find a tutor for Chem. Maybe take algebra again in the fall after beefing up on basic math going into it? I sure wouldn’t drop out. Algebra can be hard the first time around.
  • BunnyBlueBunnyBlue Registered User Posts: 685 Member
    edited September 22
    You need a good tutor. Plenty of bright kids have gone from making low or failing grades on the first tests to ending up with an A or B after steady tutoring. They go from thinking they aren't smart enough for college to finding out they actually can handle the work after all. Part of the success of tutoring is having someone who explains the material in a more understandable way than the professor does, or who gives explanations a little more slowly. Part of it is having someone who knows what the important concepts are and what needs to be memorized. And part of it is having the psychological boost of having someone who cares that you succeed. It is a terrible shame that kids get so down on themselves when they have trouble in college courses. It takes a bit of courage to seek out the tutoring that is available. The lucky kids are the ones whose parents see what is happening and insist they go to tutoring.
  • EmpireappleEmpireapple Registered User Posts: 1,131 Senior Member
    Those can all be tough classes especially when you are taking them at the same time. Get some help. Make a plan. See an advisor. Find a mentor. You can do this. It's just about carving out the right support system and the right path. You're not alone - many have faced these same feelings. Chin up!
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,335 Senior Member
    There is a system in place at your school to help kids who are struggling academically. today's job is to go online and find out just what that system is. Go to the school site, and search "tutors" or "academic help" or any other way you can think of to phrase it. Tomorrow morning, go there and register or whatever the procedure is.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,972 Forum Champion
    1) It is important to keep your GPA up.
    2) So you have a couple of choices...get your grades up or drop a class.
    3) Talk to your professors about how you are doing. Ask them what successful students do to do well.
    4) Talk to your advisor about the impact of withdrawing from a class. Is your financial aid still good? Can you stay on schedule with your pre-reqs?
    5) Consider getting more help with all the support your college provides:;

    So to do well, consider the following:

    0) GO TO CLASS, BUY THE BOOK, READ THE CHAPTERS, AND DO THE HOMEWORK!

    1) Go to Professor's office hours early in the semester and Ask this question: "I know this is a really difficult class-- what are some of the common mistakes students make and how can I avoid them?"

    2) If you have problems with the homework, go to Prof's office hours. If they have any "help sessions" or "study sessions" or "recitations" or any thing extra, go to them.

    3) Form a study group with other kids in your dorm/class.

    4) Don't do the minimum...for STEM classes do extra problems. You can buy books that just have problems for calculus or physics or whatever. Watch videos on line about the topic you are studying.

    5) Go to the writing center if you need help with papers/math center for math problems (if they have them)

    6) If things still are not going well, get a tutor.

    7) Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.

    8) If you feel you need to withdraw from a class, talk to your advisor as to which one might be the best ...you may do better when you have less classes to focus on. But some classes may be pre-reqs and will mess your sequence of classes up.

    9) For tests that you didn't do well on, can you evaluate what went wrong? Did you never read that topic? Did you not do the homework for it? Do you kind of remember it but forgot what to do? Then next time change the way you study...there may be a study skill center at your college.

    10) How much time outside of class do you spend studying/doing homework? It is generally expected that for each hour in class, you spend 2-3 outside doing homework. Treat this like a full time job.

    11) At first, don't spend too much time other things rather than school work. (sports, partying, rushing fraternities/sororities, video gaming etc etc)

    12) If you run into any social/health/family troubles (you are sick, your parents are sick, someone died, broke up with boy/girlfriend, suddenly depressed/anxiety etcetc) then immediately go to the counseling center and talk to them. Talk to the dean of students about coordinating your classes...e.g. sometimes you can take a medical withdrawal. Or you could withdraw from a particular class to free up tim for the others. Sometimes you can take an incomplete if you are doing well and mostly finished the semester and suddenly get pneumonia/in a car accident (happened to me)...you can heal and take the final first thing the next semester. But talk to your adviser about that too.

    13) At the beginning of the semester, read the syllabus for each class. It tells you what you will be doing and when tests/HW/papers are due. Put all of that in your calendar. The professor may remind you of things, but it is all there for you to see so take initiative and look at it.


    14) Make sure you understand how to use your online class system...Login to it, read what there is for your classes, know how to upload assignments (if that is what the prof wants).

    15) If you get an assignment...make sure to read the instructions and do all the tasks on the assignment. Look at the rubric and make sure you have covered everything.

    16) If you are not sure what to do, go EARLY to the professors office hours...not the day before the assignment is due.


    You might think that this is all completely obvious, but I have read many stories on this and other websites where people did not do the above and then are asking for help on academic appeal letters.
    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/1920853-college-is-a-step-up-from-hs-16-tips-on-doing-well-in-college.html#latest

  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,084 Senior Member
    I think that it's not you so much as the fact that you're taking three really hard classes all at once.

    I would immediately switch from TWO of the classes into something much easier. Usually CCs have classes that you're required to take that aren't nearly as difficult. Many have classes in "how to attend college" and the like. That's super easy and you could get an A while focusing on one of your harder classes. Or take your intro writing class. Writing's difficult but it's a different sort of difficulty and it might make a nice balance.

    Some CCs have concentrated classes -- just a few weeks long -- so that you can drop yoru longer class now (maybe) and take a full semester concentrated class.

    Check with your guidance counselor about your options. Better to just take two classes and get As than take three and do poorly.

    Best wishes. You can do this!!
  • JazzyTXMomJazzyTXMom Registered User Posts: 279 Junior Member
    Agree that those are three tough classes on their own but even tougher to take at the same time. If it is not too late, do as suggested above and see if you can switch at least one course. Then follow up by using your school's resources--tutoring, professor's office hours, etc.
  • SuperGeo5999SuperGeo5999 Registered User Posts: 639 Member
    I'm in a similar situation because I am not doing too great in calculus and chemistry but I am not gonna give up.
  • Jovian90Jovian90 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thank you guys so much for the great advice. You are all right I should try to find a tutor especially for math and chemistry.
  • preppedparentpreppedparent Registered User Posts: 3,284 Senior Member
    yes, get some help and ask your profs what you can do to improve. Go to their office hours and ask for access to past practice tests and ask for a review session before every major exam. Ask the prof if there is anyone from previous classes who would be inteseted in tutoring.
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