Let’s be honest: getting a bad grade sucks. School can already be super stressful, so when you feel like you didn’t do well on something, it can just make you feel awful. No fun.
The reality is that it is very rare to get good grades 100 percent of the time as even the most studious among us can have an off assignment. Don’t get me wrong – working hard in school and trying to do well is really important, but it also isn’t worth making yourself sick or crazy over a bad grade every now and then. Here are seven ways to handle getting a bad grade:
Relax, Relax, RelaxOkay, you just got that paper back and you can feel your heart sinking when you see the grade. Take a couple deep breaths. It is very important to remember that you're not stupid or dumb. This is not the end of the world. Getting stressed isn't going to make it go away, but it will keep you from being able to focus on anything else for the rest of the day. Just take a deep breath, put it away, and try to relax until you can deal with it later. Source: Shutterstock.com
Cry It OutIf you are able to maintain that relaxation from the moment you get the paper back, that's awesome. If you feel like you've been fighting back tears all day, a good cry may not make it go away, but it does always make me feel better to throw a little pity party. Sometimes getting all that frustration out of your system actually makes it easier to relax and believe yourself when you say "It's not the end of the world." Source: Shutterstock.com
Do Something You LoveDone crying? While it may seem like you should get right back to work to your schoolwork, you may still need some buffer time or you'll probably get frustrated too easily or get distracted thinking about the bad grade. Take about an hour to do something just for you - go for a run, catch up on last night's TV, take a nap. It'll help center you and remind you there are some other things going on in your life that make you smile. Source: Shutterstock.com
Keep It In PerspectiveThis is like, "Relax: Part 2." Often, teachers give many assignments during a semester because they know that every student has an off day now and again. That paper may have seemed big at 8 pages, but it may only be 5 percent of your total grade. That gives you plenty of other assignments to try and even it out. Things like class participation can also be a way to snag extra points that will make you feel like your one bad grade is no longer overshadowing all your other work. Source: Shutterstock.com
Don't Play The Blame GameIt's easy to just blame your teacher or group members for the bad grade, but before you start flipping out at all those other parties, take a pause. True, sometimes you couldn't have done anything different. That said, I remember getting a bad grade on a French paper and kept blaming my teacher until I finally admitted to myself that I never even bothered to proofread it. It doesn't make it go away, but you can use it as a teaching moment and avoid starting drama with others. Source: Shutterstock.com
Talk To Your TeacherIn my experience, teachers love when students care enough to take time besides class to meet with them to talk about work. Do not be scared or embarrassed about going to talk to your teacher about your grade - this is all part of their job! Be prepared for their honest feedback though, but also, you never know if they may offer you the opportunity for a re-write or extra credit. They also may keep in mind your hard-working attitude later in the semester. Source: Shutterstock.com
Plan For Next TimeOnce the grade is done, you may not be able to change it, but you can look ahead and try to get the grades you really want from now on. All the bad grades I remember were because I put off my work until the last minute. Try to plan a schedule for yourself where you can get feedback along the way. Maybe it is swapping papers with a friend to have another set of eyes check for mistakes, or asking your teacher to suggest some websites to do sample problems before the test. Source: Shutterstock.com
Do you get stressed out about grades? How do you handle it when you are disappointed in a grade? Tell us in the comments!