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I got a D in chemistry, feel bad, can someone give me some advice?

Ajpat123Ajpat123 Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
Im planning on going into materials engineering, and took Chem I this past semester. I got a D in the class, and I`ll admit its my fault. I got lazy and was trying to settle for the C (I learned my lesson now). Im not even bad at chemistry, I enjoy it but Im so ashamed and down that I got a D and have to retake it. I know D isnt failing but its hard not to feel like I failed. I read somewhere that a D freshman year means you should reconsider you`re major. The thing is I think I can do better but I dont know if I should reconsider my major. I really want to do Materials engineering. Im willing to retake the class and take a summer semester to catch up on my other classes. Im also a little bummed out about my gpa. I dont know how hard it is to go from a 2.5 (approximate gpa for my first semester) to a 3.0 by the end of my first 4 semesters. My major requires a 2.0 but I really want a 3.0 for job prospect reasons and grad school. I just need some advice and possibly an answer to whether getting a D is the end of the world for me or not.

Replies to: I got a D in chemistry, feel bad, can someone give me some advice?

  • umcoe16umcoe16 Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    Most engineering programs do not accept a C- or below as a passing grade (ABET has something to do with this). Whether or not you can stay in your major depends on your reason for failure. If it was just that you slacked off too much, see if you improve by getting your act together. If you really had your act together but the material just never clicked, then that is time to reconsider your major.
  • Ajpat123Ajpat123 Registered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    @umcoe16 Im not in my major yet (my school doesn't allow us to declare a major until end of sophomore year), and the material to me was never challenging, I just got lazy and didn't study enough.
  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    Four years of engineering studies are very demanding no matter what the concentration. The major standard concentrations are civil engineering (oldest), mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering.

    Materials engineering is often found in mechanical engineering departments and is heavily dependent upon chemistry. Chemistry is the study of molecular behavior. Molecular structure and its behavior under temperature change, molecular reaction under stress and over periods of time, molecular interaction with other chemicals, etc. are all very fundamental to understanding a materials process. You will need to understand chemistry, math and physics as these are among the tools you will use to find solutions to real world problems. If you don't understand these fundamentals the rocket may blow up on the launching pad or the automobile airbag may explode.

    Sometimes students need to know WHY they study a subject to generate the motivation needed to design a solution. This is a very big part of what learning is about. You might need a context for your motivation. Some professors teach courses backwards so students can understand where the subject is taking them.

    Why do you want to study materials engineering? Are you in a four year BS program? Do you have a mentor you can talk to? What are your goals? Pat answers like a D means you must quit are too easy. This is an opportunity to think through your study program.

    If you can afford it, you could take summer school. As you are a first year student, it could be that your secondary school preparation was not up to par in chemistry.

    If you get fired up, the laziness will evaporate. Excitement proceeds that good job. We really need good engineers. We are in a very serious race.. are you a distance runner?

  • umcoe16umcoe16 Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    Well, if you wish to follow through with engineering, you need to retake that class. When you retake a class, nothing less than an A on your second attempt is considered acceptable. At this point, you have seen all of the material once, and the second time should go better.

    Use this break to figure out what you are going to do differently to ensure that you do well the second time. Maybe review your class material and figure out what you need to focus on trying to understand.
  • naptownnittanynaptownnittany Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    Mine got a D in Chem 1 as well, she just mourned a bit and then re-took it the next semester. Got a B. Lots of people in her class were re-taking it.
    Had to do the same with a Calc class the next semester, got a D, major only accepts C or above, re-took it over the summer at the local community college and got a B+. No worries. GPA hovering in 3-range.

    Sometimes it just happens, I wouldn't let it dissuade you from what you want to do. There is no way mine would drop out of her STEM major just because of a couple missteps! Engineering is hard, no one is gonna soar through it all with straight A's. And no employer is going to give you grief about it. Get your engineering degree and get out there working. **** grad school. You'll be an engineer and will not need it. Maybe some people who need to get into medical school need a mega-high GPA, but in engineering, those C's still get degrees. Do not slack off in your 'easy' Gen Ed classes. You will need those A's to buffer the meatier classes where A's will not happen. Go to every study group and review session you can, hit the free ones at Lion tutors and even pony up the cash for the extra sessions if you can. Hit the Writing Center for free help on those essays for Gen Ed classes.
    Starting Sophomore year, get to the career fairs in the Fall and Spring on internship/co-op day. This means you have to arrive in the Fall with a well-fitting suit, shirt, tie, and nice shoes. Get a fresh haircut the week before and spend time online looking at the employers and mapping their locations in the BJC. Carry a portfolio with resumes and digital resume copies. Get that paid internship over the summer. Repeat junior year. Graduate with a job because Penn State engineers are in high demand.

    But do the soul searching and make sure you enjoy engineering as a whole. If those classes are going well and feel right, you just gotta hang in there and get these basics out of the way.

    Believe in yourself!
  • eyemgheyemgh Registered User Posts: 4,820 Senior Member
    It's time to reflect a bit on 1) why you did so poorly and 2) why you were shooting for a C. Lazy? What does that mean? You weren't organized? You procrastinated? Both? What did you do with your time?
  • HPuck35HPuck35 Registered User Posts: 1,857 Senior Member
    Aim higher. Trying to just get a C will not fair well.

    My company wouldn't accept any new hires with a GPA below 3.0, no exceptions. And we would regularly screen applications and only pursue those over 3.4 or 3.5 (the ones we looked at from 3.0 to the higher were usually applicants that had some other hook). We had plenty of applicants that met the higher requirements.

    So, apply yourself and get those grades up for a decent chance at finding the job you want after all the hard work you will put into your degree.
  • aemaethaemaeth Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    I flunked out chemistry in highschool but then got A's in gen chem and organic due to passion/studying.

    You can do anything that you put your mind too, if you actually want an B/A and are going to grind out the hours to study , then you can do it.

    If you don't have the passion/fire/work ethic, then it won't happen.
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