Son a little nervous

<p>Well I have one son who is a freshman in a Public University honors college. He pulled a 3.8 in the first quarter but is looking at a 3.5 or so in the 2nd quarter. He is a bit off about the lower GPA and the B grades. I told him to relax this is not HS anymore and a 3.5 is pretty good considering he is an computer engineering major with a Japanese minor. He also works about 13 hours a week for the university IT department.</p>

<p>His classes were
Japanese 2
Calc 2
Linear Alg
Physics for engineers
and an intro electrical engineering class</p>

<p>I told him that was a nasty courseload so relax and realize a 3.5 is a heck of a job.</p>

<p>Anybody else have to help kids reset their grade expectations in these tough majors? what worked LOL</p>

<p>Yes! Esp as an Engineering major!! I believe that eng is difficult no matter where you attend college and further, the coursework/load is so rigid that there is really not room for accommodation like many other majors. Tell him to hang in there--there may be semesters where GPA may be lower than expected/wanted.</p>

<p>As far as what works, our student (as a soph) has come to realize the importance of time management and making the most out of his time. There just isn't any time to waste according to him with regard to eng. He has also found that a study group for a particular course is very helpful.</p>


<p>And my S's fears were a half-order of magnitude worse than yours in terms of the GPA he feared (and eventually got). He did end up with a 3.25 and a 3.18 or something in the two tough terms he experienced. Each occasioned by one killer (for him) course per term. He actually feared failing a course, which has never happened before of course. Also an Engineering major (ECE).</p>

<p>I think what works, although you may not have realized it, is partly what you have already done: told him to relax. I think our kids fear disappointing <em>us</em> and, with that monkey off their back, and your reinforcement that 3.5 is a heck of a job, he can actually shed some of the nerves.</p>

<p>That is what we did with our son and I truly think it helped immeasurably. </p>

<p>It is a nasty courseload for them and with a pt job on top of that, he has a lot of work. Does he need the job or want to keep it? Because he might benefit from having more hours available to study and/or relax? </p>

<p>For our S, after he pulled through the two tough terms, he came back to more his norm of higher grades. Hard to say whether it was having adjusted to a better understanding of what it took, simply not having the killer course (which is somewhat of a crapshoot term by term...)....</p>

<p>One thing that did happen for my S (may or may not be relevant to yours): with the killer courseload he took the first 2 1/2 years plus having a few AP/summer/community college courses to use, he is able to take a more normal courseload this term and next (sr) year, because he was heading toward way more credits than he needs to graduate. He is taking only 13 credits now (almost seems like a slacker courseload compared to what he is used to). But he is hoping that helps.</p>

<p>It's funny; notredameAL and I cross posted. But we both began with the "Yes!" </p>

<p>We are not alone, lol!</p>

<p>The reality of grades in the weeder engineering courses at some schools can hit them like a slap on the face. </p>

<p>I think the average engineering GPA at UCLA/UCSD is somewhere around a 2.7 and this is from a highly selective group of high-achieving students. These grades and GPA can be doubly tough when they have a roommate or friend in a humanities major who's studying much less and much more readily achieving high grades/GPA. It's just the way it is at some of these schools though.</p>

<p>If your S can stay above a 3.0 he's ahead of the game and I agree he seems to be doing a heck of a job so far.</p>

<p>To quote the book that I'm currently reading entitled "How To Survive Your Freshman Year":</p>

<p>"Relax. When you go to get a job, no company is going to say 'Oh, we'd hire you but you didn't do well in Western Civilizations II.'"</p>

<p>Our son is in engineering, too. I think that 3 lab courses at the same time is insane, but, what do I know? and his schedule is, apparently, "not unusual." His courses are curved to a B-. So, considering who his classmates are at this pretty-darn-selective school, a B now ant then is nothing to be ashamed of. But he, like everyone else at this school, is accustomed to A's.</p>

<p>We have made a point of letting him know that our love, respect, and admiration are not based on his GPA. You might be surprised to learn that many classmates have parents who give their kids grief for anything less than a 4.0 average, even in college.</p>

<p>Telling him that you are fine as long as he is doing HIS best, is, IMO, the best thing you can do,</p>



<p>No, our kid helped us reset OUR grade expectations in her tough major (physics). We've dumbed down our expectations to "please graduate in four years", which she assures she will do.</p>

<p>I was the one adjusting my grade expectations all those years ago! To be perfectly honest, though, my parents NEVER once got involved. I was an adult & they trusted me to handle college myself. They were happy to listen, but they did not give me advice I didn't ask for (and I never asked for any). They did not hassle me about it in any way. I eventually figured out how to handle my work load & my grades ended up pretty decent overall. I was asked for my gpa when I applied to grad school, but even my low grades were accepted as prereqs for my MBA program. Other than that, my gpa has never been an issue. As long as your S doesn't have scholarships that hinge on keeping a higher gpa, I advise you to simply assure him that he can handle this on his own. If he asks for help, you can offer the usual advice (go to the prof, go to tutoring, join a study group, etc.). It sounds like you have been handling things well, so far!</p>

To quote the book that I'm currently reading entitled "How To Survive Your Freshman Year":</p>

<p>"Relax. When you go to get a job, no company is going to say 'Oh, we'd hire you but you didn't do well in Western Civilizations II.'"


<p>For the record, this isn't necessarily true for engineering majors. Many of the classes that engineering majors take closely mirror things they'll do in internships or jobs (group engineering projects, software design, etc.). Which isn't to say that grades are everything (I don't believe anything close to that), but rather that engineering majors may in fact be asked to explain grades earned in specific classes in internship or job interviews. Because we don't spend very much time in classes like Western Civ, and do spend lots of time in classes with names that sound awfully close to the things employers want us to do. Still, the grades the OP is talking about aren't bad enough to be a problem, and learning to learn tough material is way more important than getting all A's.</p>

<p>Point out to him that for the most part the bottom part of the HS curve is not in class with him. It is kids like himself, so it is a lot tougher on average.</p>

<p>drizzit, continue to encourage your son who is doing terrific as a freshman engineering major because he is. And he may find that while the classwork will not get easier, the grading may be somewhat more generous in subsequent years.</p>

<p>I do place some of the blame for this sort of problem on many of our hs's which do not challenge our better students enough and send some of them off to college unprepared for the rigor of much college level work. Our son was fortunate that his hs was not like this. His unweighted 3.36 gpa(using 92% or better as an A) placed him in the top 6% of his class and prepped to tackle college level work. Heck, I dont think he got all A's in middle school either. He is a senior at RPI and told us that he has a 3.75 gpa, though he is not an engineering but a science major.</p>