catching up

What To Do If You’re Falling Behind Mid-Semester

It’s the middle of the semester, you’ve made a lot of friends by this point, joined some clubs, found a sweet little part-time gig at a coffee shop but amidst all that, classes got lost a bit in the shuffle. You haven’t had to turn in any assignments yet but you’ve missed some lectures and some of the reading. Suddenly, you’re not sure if you’re going to pass. This may very well be the case and if you’ve fallen behind, it’s quite a bit harder to catch up in college than in high school but by no means impossible.  Mid-terms will give you a good indication whether your instincts are correct or not.

If they are, what are your options?

Talk to your dean immediately. Let them know what’s going on, which classes you’re struggling in, and why you’re having trouble. They can organize things like getting you a tutor or work with a professor about extra credit or possibly expunging the mid-term grade if you get a certain grade on the final. If you try to plead your case after the final exam that you had a rough first half, it will never fly.  Talk to your dean as soon as you feel you’re floundering in the class.

Go to class. Before you think I think you’re dumb, I made this mistake my freshman year.  I would ask people I knew about the lectures and if they found them helpful.  A lot of the time, the answer was ‘no, you really don’t need to go to lecture for that class.’  Well, they were dead wrong.  If you think the lectures might be worthless, let’s say for an introductory psych class, don’t take someone’s word for it.  Go to class.  If you’re on the fence about it, go to class.  Getting a feel for the professor and his opinions will give you insight into what he’s looking for.

I also recommend finding a fresh study location.  It’s the same concept as cutting your hair after breaking up with your boyfriend.  Okay, not really.  But turning a new leaf can be easier if you shake things up to break bad habits of missing class and not spending enough time studying.

There’s still plenty of time, believe it or not!  Rally and finish those classes up strong.



I’m reading Operations Management