As told by Tam: A bad grade is not the end of the world

Tamra Smalewitz

It is finally November, the time of the year where CSU Rams get a much needed week off of school, yummy turkey dinners are prepared and devoured and the realization that it is almost time for finals hits us like a bag of rocks.

I know it is not just me that experiences the realization of, “Oh shoot, I need to pull up my grades.” I think we have all gotten a bad grade from time to time, and it sucks when you see that C on the paper you thought was A-quality work, but whining and stressing about it does nothing. 


Now is the time to get your school life in order and start moving up the hill towards the next semester. Let’s all be real here, our grades are never more important to us than when finals start creeping in. In my opinion, the first and most important step in fixing your grades is to actually talk to your professors. Office hours are underappreciated and underutilized.

Read below for some tips on dealing with a bad grade, and why talking to your professors is a good thing.

Professors are the best resource in college. They teach you what you need to succeed in class, and sometimes even in life, and they are also here to help us Rams out. Your professors have office hours for a reason, and it is not just to sit around and grade papers. The primary reason is to help you. Your professors will most likely go over tests, papers and projects with you to help you learn what you could have done better, or what you did really well, to better prepare you for the next one. It will help you succeed on the next assignment when you receive help from your professors, and they will know you are actively trying to do better in their class. They will also get to know you individually and acknowledge that you are trying your best in their class.

Additionally, the more you visit them in office hours and demonstrate a strong effort to take care of your grade and personal achievement, the more likely they will bump a grade up if you are on the edge of it or help you out with those missing clicker points. But even if you have been working with your professor all semester, don’t count on them to boost your grade and allow yourself to slack off in hopes they will raise your grade. Hard work should put you in the right spot for good grades in class. Don’t just assume the professor will bump you up, work hard and that will show.

Don’t stress over a bad grade — we all get bad grades at some point. Yes, it may bring your overall grade in a class down a bit, but just remember there is still time to bring it up and more chances to do better on the next assignment, test or project. It’s definitely not encouraging when a C, D or even F is handed back, but it is your choice to stress and freak out or make it a learning experience. Don’t let a bad grade kill your mojo — let it push you to strive for better grades in the future. It’s not a downfall unless you allow it to be.

Getting bad grades is a part of college life and you are not alone. Take responsibility for your own success and talk to your professors if you are having some problems with the material. Never give up on your goals by letting a bad grade get to your head. Do your best to finish this semester strong and don’t let finals get you down. Oh, and utilize those office hours. You got this, Rams, don’t give up.

Collegian Columnist Tamra Smalewitz can be reached at or on Twitter @tamrasmalewitz.