Overcoming Grade Anxieties

Student studying in library

Created date

November 19

Before starting Bastyr, I was so worried about whether or not I could keep up with the classes and keep my grades up. Since Bastyr promotes a “rigorous science background” for all of its programs and sports a quarter system (which was new to me), I worried whether or not I'd be able to keep up. Going into the first quarter of my first year here, it was definitely a big change compared to my last college, which was on a semester system and was a lot more relaxed. I started to find it difficult to balance work, classes and having some sort of life outside school. Luckily though, I eventually got into the swing of things.

To overcome my worry about keeping up with my classes, I developed a few strategies:

  1. Schedule Specific Study Time
    I designated certain days of the week to go study in the library after classes instead of going straight home. This carved out time helped me stay focused, where as if I were to go home instead, I would probably get distracted.
  2. Record Lectures
    Recording lectures helped a lot with my worry and anxiety. Since we only have 10 weeks per quarter to learn everything, the lectures can go quite fast. Recording them helped me calm down when the professors started to speed up or when I started to get lost on a subject. This especially helped when me and my friends were reviewing material and we either each had something different down in our notes or one of us was missing part of the notes. We could just go back and listen to the recording for clarification.
  3. Communicate with Faculty
    Using professors’ office hours or contacting them with questions helps me keep up with my classes. They not only clarified any questions that I had, but they also specified the material that I really needed to focus on. Sometimes I'd ask about something and they’d say not to worry about it, that that was just a tangent they had gone off on, and it wouldnt be on the final. That saved me a lot of worry and study time!
  4. Study with Your Community
    The final thing that helped me overcome grade anxiety was studying with the people in my cohort. Studying together really made us a strong group and we’ve all become great friends. This time together helps because we're all in the same classes and we all come from different specialties (within herbal science), so one person may understand horticulture better than the others and can help explain it to everyone. Group study also helped us stay motivated throughout the quarters and it was great to see how passionate everyone else was to be learning the same things I was.

All of these strategies helped me overcome my worry of keeping up with my classes, and now heading into my second year, I feel more confident (and even excited!) for the classes to begin.

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