First C Ever And I Feel Like A Failure.

Help. Please help. I am a junior and I love English. I want to major in Journalism, so of course when my English II Honors teacher last year suggested that I should take AP English Language and Composition, naturally I said yes.

Now I feel like I’ve made the worst decision in my whole high school career.

I am normally a straight A student, apart from the B I consistently get in math (Algebra II Honors). However, the third quarter has ended and my report will look like this:

AP English Language and Composition: C
AP US History: A
Algebra II Honors: B
Anatomy and Physiology Honors: A
Newspaper: A
Theater 1: A


She calls me out in class and my friends in that class notice that she picks on me. She has a lot of attitude and throws a lot of shade. But listen to what happened.

I was sick for about a week and we apparently had an essay to do a day that I was out. When I came back, I wrote an essay, but I forgot about the one that I had missed when I was sick and she didn’t even think to remind me even though she reminds other people when they’ve missed days about the work that they missed. She also decided to wait until the LAST DAY OF GRADES TO BE DUE BEFORE SPRING BREAK to put in grades from WEEKS AGO. So she gave me a zero for the essay I didn’t do and graded the one I did write as a D. Like I said, she hates me.

So now I’m just in a really weird funk where I’m crying and air boxing and I just hate her class and I can’t wait to leave and never have to sit in her class ever again. This has also affected how I feel about AP English classes in general, as I was thinking about taking AP Lit next year, but I think I’m going to dual enroll and take Freshman Comp instead because I’m sick of this man. I’m really sick and tired of it. I just want to leave this place. I hate that the subject I love so much is the one I’m doing the worse in, plus it doesn’t even feel like an English class, it just feels like a flipping debate class or something. I can’t wait to leave.

First step is calmmmmmmm down. Talk to a parent or friend if you need to. Scream into your pillow and eat a bar of chocolate. But relax.

At my school AP lang is THE HARDEST class. Our teacher even told us at the beginning to not expect As no matter what our grades used to be in english classes. If grades are closed, it’s too late and just move on. Think abt what you can do from here.

First, definitely go talk to your teacher Calmly. Don’t forget to stay respectful no matter how annoyed they make you. She may not be as hateful as you think, and teachers tend to forget things a lot since they have so many students. Politely tell her that you need to make up an assignment that she didn’t tell you about, even though she usually tells other students. Ask what you can do to make it up. If that’s too late, ask for general advice on how to keep your grade up in the class and if you can stay back for extra help.

If none of your pleas work, ask your parents for help. Sometimes they have more leverage in parent teacher conferences or can talk to a principal of a teacher is truly discriminating against you compared to the rest of the students.

But most importantly- don’t give up. This situation is one of many tests you’ll encounter in high school. You’ll learn whether you can really handle AP level work at this time. You’ll learn if you truly like journalism enough to stick with english even though it’s challenging rn. You’ll learn your breaking point and how to overcome your weaknesses. If you can fight this problem now, you will be prepared for college with big lectures where professors won’t know names and won’t care if you try or not. If you can’t fight this problem just yet and need help, that’s ok too. You still have resources to help you, counselors and guardians and other teachers and friends to guide you.

Just try your best to stay calm, evaluate your situation without panicking, and try different methods until you get out of this. Learn to keep pursuing your dreams even when it’s not easy and fun. That’s how you grow. Nothing in life will ever be satsifying 100% of the time (except chocolate). The world is not ending and your career is not through. You have the rest of your life ahead of you to improve.

Thanks @agentaquastar, that really made me feel better! I did speak with her over our teacher-student “text” app called Remind, and she told me that apparently, the assignments had been on the board at least a week before I was sick and that it was my responsibility. While she is right about that, I wear glasses to see the board because without them it’s really blurry. My glasses were broken and I literally just got them fixed, so I didn’t see the board. I really need to go eat some chocolate

I’m glad! Never forget that your teacher’s job is to make sure you succeed. If you have any problems, like your glasses, tell your teacher immediately! so she can help you. Your teachers will always be willing to listen, but in the end, you’re accountable for your grade.

I used to never believe it was the teacher’s fault! Now older and wiser I can 100% blame the teacher. At my daughters school (stupid) all they offer is Dual Enrollment/Credit. BIO is taught by a University Texas Professor and his reviews on “Grade my Professor” are 1.5 with horrid reviews. “Take anyone but XXXXXX repeat anyone!”

My daughter has a high B and studies no less than 8-9hrs a week. The class is literally YouTube videos, 10 year old videos, and the test will be on these 2 chapters just know it. HE DOES NOT TEACH AT ALL!

The class is 30 minutes of videos 10 minutes for questions …10 minutes whatever. The top 10-12 kids (including daughter) have all complained, parents have called (including me), and he has all the canned answers. “I’m willing to answer any question she has I’m a open book. The content is hard this is the exact class taught at University of Texas blah blah blah”

Good luck in your class!!

@hannuhylu, your daughter’s situation has nothing to do with the OP’s.
@futureceo7, I have much less sympathy than the others do here. It’s your responsibility to find out what work you missed while you were absent, period. And to blame it on not being able to see the board is ridiculous. Learning to accept responsibility for yourself and not to assign blame to others is an important learning lesson. I hope you do learn that lesson and make the necessary efforts to succeed in this semester of the class.

I agree with @TTdd16. You need to learn the lesson now before you get to college.

It’s a college level class. Is it really the job of a college teacher to remind you of the work that was covered while you were out? Are we at the point where we’re asking “Did you cover anything while I was absent?” in a college class?

The material was on the board for a week, and your glasses were broken. You knew they were broken-- for this class and all your other classes. What did you do about it?

I don’t mean to dump on you, I’m just trying to show this from the teacher’s point of view. We try so hard to go against the stereotype of millennials as being coddled, trying to give you the tools you’ll need to find success in college and beyond. Part of that is natural consequences.

You sound like a good student. I can’t imagine any reason in the world why one teacher would decide to “hate” you. I imagine the teacher’s version is more along the lines that you need to be pushed to do things that should come naturally by the time you’re enrolled in a college level class.

Big picture: a C will not kill you. A C is not a “failure.” A C merely means you need to get your act together.

And chocolate and/or ice cream therapy is a cure for most of these types of issues.


“Are we at the point where we’re asking ‘Did you cover anything while I was absent’ in a college class?”

This doesn’t make much sense. I obviously can’t speak for everyone (and I’ve had almost perfect attendance, bar a single day), but in the double-digits APs/DE I’ve taken, it’s pretty commonplace across the board for students to get together with an instructor after missing class (particularly extended periods of time) and ask them what they missed or get missed handouts and instructional materials. Granted, the student is always the one who initiates the contact (as in, instructors rightfully don’t chase after students to make sure they have everything they need or to make sure they’ve turned everything in) and the work is able to be made up only with a legitimate medical excuse. Some of the dual enrollment classes I’ve taken have had syllabi in which all course due dates were outlined, but others did not, and in those classes, students initiated contact with their instructors to again, obtain handouts and the like that were handed out when they were absent.

Also, I do think that the excuse that the OP wasn’t able to see the board is flimsy, and that’s being generous.

C’s happen. Two important points about life: You need to understand that getting a C is not the end of the world. It is largely how we pick ourselves up and go forward that matters.

If you have a sea of A’s with one C in the middle of it, it will look to admissions as if either there was one teacher you didn’t get along with, or one teacher who was a horridly hard marker, or you got sick. These happen. If you continue with the large number of A’s in nearly everything else, it will show a resiliency that will be a big part of what is going to make you a success at university and a success in life.

Of course, as a potential journalism major a B in a math class shouldn’t freak them out too much either. I was the other way around, with A+'s in math and science and B’s in most other classes.

I did have one C in a math class as an undergrad. I felt pretty much as you describe your reactions to your C. This didn’t stop me from getting into a very strong graduate school.

@bjkmom noone in high school right now is a millennial.

OP, you didn’t do a major assignment, that’s why you got a C. You should have been asking your teachers and classmates what you missed. For the essay you got a D on, did you pay attention to the rubric?

I want to add that I don’t think OP has much of an excuse, and OP, this is based on what you said yourself; you were (supposed to be) cognizant that the assignment was due and the assignment due date was posted on the board where presumably everyone else was able to see it. Even if the teacher didn’t explicitly remind you of the essay, they had no obligation to do so because you were supposed to know about it before you got sick. This doesn’t sound like something spontaneous; in terms of time, you had quite a bit of headroom since the assignment was posted, and if the assignment was on the board (which you did say you couldn’t see) for weeks before you got sick, did not a single one of your friends or classmates mention anything about another essay that was due? Also, I said in my previous post, in college, you often get syllabi full of information regarding due dates and classroom procedures, such as practices for making up work (if it is even allowed) and you are expected to follow that information on your own time completely, even if that information is buried among paragraphs of mostly-irrelevant minutia. Sometimes, instructors are nice enough to give sporadic reminders that assignments are due, but they really don’t have to remind you of anything if the due dates have already been communicated.

I’m not trying to bag on you either. I’m a fellow student and I would be furious at myself if something like this happened to me. Also, AP English Lang was a killer class, probably the most annoying I’ve ever taken. I can imagine that you feel as if you’ve cheated yourself out of a good grade in the course, but you need to move on and use this as a reason to become more cautious in the future.

Being honest here, failing in a subject that you want to major in is pretty bad in the eyes of colleges, however, it’s not the end all be all. Try to bring your grade as high as possible until the end of the year, don’t worry about straight A’s just try to cut your losses. Secondly, find other ways to show colleges you love writing, create a creative writing club at school, be president/ lead editor of a newspaper organization, compete in essay competitions etc. There is a lot of ways to show passion other than grades, and stay focused and concentrate and you should be fine.

Thanks everyone, I am taking this and learning from it. I do know that in college I will not be “coddled” and I need to learn that from now. And no, my friends didn’t remind me, I actually barely have any, so that’s that. Thanks again.

I got 2 Cs in college and still graduated with high honors, so it’s not the end of the world.

@r2v2018 , you miss the point.

The question wasn’t “What did we cover when I was absent?” it was “Did we cover anything while I was absent?” And, yes, there’s a huge difference between the two. And, yes, we hear that second question far more than you would think. The implication is that the rest of the class sat around in mourning because the kid was absent-- that there’s no way life could have gone on in class while he was having his wisdom tooth removed or home with a stomach bug.

And, of course, that’s simply not the reality.

OP, Take a deep breath. Try some of that ice cream therapy. And consider this a huge lesson learned-- that your education is your responsibility.

Then stop beating yourself up and move on. It’s a C. That’s all. It shows that you’re a kid who is still learning. That’s OK. It’s part of the process. So you learn your lesson and move on with life.

You DIDN’T “fail”. There’s no reason to feel like a failure. And even it that C had been an F, life still would have gone on. People have successfully recovered from far worse.


Whoops. I definitely understand that the question “did we cover anything when I was absent” is ridiculous to ask in an advanced HS class (because the answer will basically always be yes, regardless what might be happening with one student), but I’ve seen enough questionable advice propagated on these forums and in real life to the point where I wasn’t entirely surprised at the idea that someone would actually say with complete seriousness that it’s inappropriate for students in AP classes to ask instructors for information regarding missed work after being absent. That was my bad; I think I might just be a little jaded and I read a little too much into your post while misunderstanding your intentions.

And I definitely think that OP needs to change their perspective of the issue as well, but it definitely won’t be easy. Remember, a C is supposed to be considered an “average” grade, arguably one that could be considered somewhat of a benchmark, with anything above that being considered better than usual. Naturally, though, students on CC tend to be overachievers who are not used to being anything less than stellar in what they do, so finally being considered “average” or even slightly above average (as in, students who get the dreaded first B grade) can be extremely shocking. I can vouch for this; when I got an F on my first test in college US History junior year of high school and went insane with studying for the rest of the term only to pull a B+, which is far from failing in a literal sense, I was pretty despondent at times and questioned my own academic abilities. I eventually “got over it” and earned an A in US History II in the spring, but I still kick myself at times because I am sure I could have done better if I just studied more for that first test, similarly to how OP ended up with a C because of his/her own carelessness.

If you have a C because of a missed essay, talk to your teacher and the GC about making it up.

OP Your not the first nor will you be the last to make a mistake. For the future try to remember to check on missed info and assignments your first day back from an absence. However a C is an average grade it is not a failing grade. There is even a grade below a C before failing so it isn’t like it is close to an F. Sure you want all As but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Just keep trying your best. You could try scheduling time to meet with the teacher to have a respectful conversation to ask about making up work. You can also check what your student handbook says about makeup work to see if it applies to your situation.