The only thing more stressful than doing an exam or handing in an assignment, is getting your mark back. The anticipation, the nerves, the dizziness at the possibility of how awful you could have gotten. Any confidence you might have had in your work when you first handed it in is gone while you watch your prof hand things back.
There are three outcomes when you get your mark back:
1. Overwhelming joy and pride and relief.
3. Soul-crushing, tear-jerking disappointment.
Seeing as we’re all first year students, we’re all going to have our fair share of #3. Unless you’re a genius, in which case, please comment your secrets/magic spells/source of luck down below and make my life a good load easier. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t exactly Spencer Reid (yay for Criminal Minds reference) which probably means you’re going to get a mark that seems to knock you to your knees and you wonder if you’ll ever recover. Spoiler alert: you will.
One of my professors told us to forget the marks we think we deserve. According to him, what got us an A or a B in high school will get us a C now. That’s disheartening but it can also be a motivator. Don’t let those words stop you from trying, from attempting your best. Another one of my professors said there’s no reason why we can’t replicate the marks that got us into this wonderful university. Both make valid points and both should be taken into consideration.
Take the bad marks and use them as learning mechanisms. What did I do wrong? What can I change next time? Is this method of studying not working for me? Answers to these questions will help you rock the next assignment. And the next. And the next. And suddenly #3 is just a bad memory from your first year, no longer something part of your life.
The most important advice I can give you comes from Dashboard Confessional – “Remember to breathe, everything will be okay.”