sad dog

Feeling forlorn at final grades? Take heart . . .

Here you are at semester’s end: turning in those final projects, waiting for grades. Soon you’ll discover how you performed, and you may be happy or not so happy with the outcome. But take heart. Even from moments of seeming defeat, you may snatch victory by first thinking about this: if your performance wasn’t up to your expectations, why?

It’s quite useful to answer this question, honestly, to and for yourself. Maybe, for instance, you

-didn’t study as much as you needed to;
-didn’t understand the material in the first place or misunderstood an assignment;
-procrastinated and/or ran out of time;
-froze on a time-limited major exam.

As disheartening as it is to realize “I could have done better if only . . . ,” fortunately, in the future, you may tackle any of the above (or similar) hurdles. But first you must clearly identify those hurdles. Take a little time to contemplate why you didn’t do so well and write it out; remember, you’ve gained experience, you’re wiser for it, and a little self-reflection puts you firmly on the path to help yourself do better next time.

Note: This article (“Can Students Learn to Learn?” by Scott Jaschik, published January 2011 in Inside Higher Ed) discusses the benefits of metacognition to students; it is well worth reading for more information.

Image via mrg.bz / supafine