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Transition into a Second Semester Recovery...Advice?

A photo of PeckThyRooster PeckThyRooster
Hi everyone,

I'm a first year Science student at UBC Vancouver and I need some advice.

I was enrolled in 4 courses for the first semester, and after going into the first week feeling really excited and motivated, things started to slowly fall apart and old habits kicked in. Procrastination, a feeling of emptiness/unfulfillment, not very much physical activity (I consider myself to be quite active and healthy). After all was said and done, at the end of the semester I have failed Math as well as Chemistry (45%), barely passed Biology and got an average mark in Physics.

Going into second semester, is there any personal advice (anecdotes welcome) that those who can relate have experienced? I passed all the lab components that I took, but I'm worried because Math is not offered in the second semester and neither is Chem.

One big improvement is that I will be moving closer to campus (3 hr round trip in term 1) so it will be only about a 30-40min round trip. I just need some advice on what others who experienced a similar first term did. I was 6th overall in my graduating class from high school, so I know I can do well, I just don't really know where I want to go and what I want to do. Even though my best mark was in Physics, I have always thought to go into the Life Sciences, maybe Biochem. But I just don't know right now.


tl;dr I have failed two of my first term courses (out of 4) and need some advice to get back on track for term 2.


Thanks in advance.
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1 replies
 
A photo of onlymatthew onlymatthew
Do you know what the cause is of your lethargy or poor work ethic? Does your soul yearn for companionship? Have you had harsh realizations concerning true love?

Look, you were clearly successful in high school. It was your domain; you walked on the faces of your vastly inferior class mates. First year science courses shouldn't be too much of a surprise to you course material wise and should be a repeat of high school. If it wasn't, then you have your high school to blame. Regardless, you need to reassess your priorities in life and get back on track.

With a science degree and a low GPA, you have very few options. To pursue graduate school or professional school, you'll need substantially better grades. Failing or marginally passing is not in the slightest interest of yours. GPAs are also cumulative, so you'll likely either need to appeal your grades, retake courses or look into other career choices. Also, it's only going to become more difficult in the coming semester and coming years.

If science isn't for you, don't try to make it something for you. Plenty of people switch programs before the end of first year, so don't force yourself down a path you're not comfortable with.

If science is for you and you were just off track, then you need to make lifestyle changes. Try to pinpoint the source of your poor grades. Are you not studying enough? Do you not understand the course material well enough? Are there many distractions about? Are your teachers or professors simply unfair?

Many of these problems can be remedied. Make smarter friends and leech insatiably off of their educational teat. Try to get past examinations, notes and work from upper years. Utilize tutors or TAs. Refer back to your old notes or be more efficient in the creation of your new ones. Appeal grades and talk to your professors, or if you have to switch into easier classes. Stop going to parties or unplug yourself from the Internet.

Good luck :cat:

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