With the start of a new semester is the potential of working on that ever-looming GPA. So we tend to commit to putting procrastination away the best we can and aim for that letter A in our classes.

It feels like a nice fresh start, but as the semester goes on we need something to hold onto more than just a letter. When we focus on the letter, we tend to get frustrated with that class and decide getting by with a low letter grade in “just this one class” is the better plan.

That mentality takes our motivation to do well away once we’re frustrated. A lot of classes can be challenging, but that’s because we’re expanding what we know. Learning new topics can be overwhelming for different reasons depending on who you are, but perseverance is important.

Take a moment. When was the last time you really wanted to do well in a class because you just wanted to learn the material and enjoy the journey? We tend to do this in some ways, but it usually comes down to the letter grade.

GPA is important so it’s understandable to think that way, but this semester I’ll suggest something to keep in mind. Try to work on assignments and classes that are challenging for you with the goal of really gaining knowledge rather than just getting it over with.

There’s a reason that the topic/assignment is hard for you, but the reason most of us are in college is to grow our minds and ourselves as people. If you still are struggling and frustrated, working with a group can help to take the frustration away because we can voice our frustrations if we need.

If all else fails give tutoring in White library a chance or try to look at the course from a new angle. Maybe if you’re feeling up to it, take a chance with office hours of your professor. Not all of these will fix the problem automatically but trying new solutions is important.

So, take that frustrating class and instead of focusing only on the A, try to see if you can recommit to the topics and to trying to understand them better. Believe in yourself, do your best, and keep trying, the GPA should come along with that effort.

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