Last spring was awful for me. I was taking 18 credit hours, working 20 hours a week and we didn’t have our much-needed spring break. I also had several personal issues I was working through: my friendships were falling apart, I was suffering from a major writer’s block that had me questioning my entire future and I was working toward an ADHD diagnosis.  

Long story short: I wasn’t doing well. 

I was barely hanging on by the time finals rolled around. My home life with my parents isn’t great, but I was so ready to go back because I wanted to leave campus and be done. I was mentally checked out and feeling dead before dead week. 

However, I still had several major assignments that would make or break my grades. I had a book review and an author report for one of my classes and a final exam which was essentially two essays for another. Remember that writer’s block I mentioned? That made these assignments hell. I would sit at my desk and stare at my computer until I couldn’t stand it anymore (when I wasn’t sitting on my floor crying or staring at that stupid off-white cinderblock wall feeling numb). 

After sending a novel of an email explaining my situation and apologizing an extensive amount, the professor who assigned the book review and author report was a godsend and extended the deadline to the end of the summer. My grade became an incomplete, disqualifying me from the honor roll for that semester, but I didn’t care. 

My other class was a different story. I was only able to complete one of the essays and received a 50% on the final which bumped me down a whole letter grade. While that left me with a B, which is still a good grade, it wasn’t reflective of how I’d done all semester. 

I was always engaged in class conversations (I’ve always been a talker in class and find it hard not to speak up when I have something to add). I had stayed on top of the readings and turned in all my essays throughout the semester. I’d done the work to keep an A all semester despite being the lowest mentally I’d ever been in my life. But because I couldn’t pull through in the end, I dropped a whole letter grade. 

And I was one of the lucky ones. There are other students whose finals scores hurt their grade so much that they end up failing the class they had been passing all semester. 

It is honestly ridiculous that one major assignment or test at the end of the year– when you’re burnt out, exhausted and barely making it through the day as it is– can drastically change your grade. I understand that professors want to know how much students retained over the semester or since midterms, but it is not an accurate reflection of how they have done in that class. 

I struggled with essays last semester, but exams themselves are also ridiculous. I don’t see how we are supposed to ace a test for an 11 o’clock class at 8 a.m. after cramming for three other tests at the same time. The pressure, anxiety and lack of sleep definitely take a toll on how well we do. So how is it fair that these exams are what hold the most weight for our grades? 


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.