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Navigating Difficulties

 

What to do if you fail your first exam.

If you do poorly on your first exam, you are not alone. Here are some strategies and resources to help you learn from this experience and improve for the next exam.

Meet with your instructors or GSIs to assess what caused you to earn a bad grade on the last exam. 

Instructors and GSIs have office hours (check your course syllabi) and are prepared to help students understand where they can improve. You should use their office hours to learn course-specific strategies to perform better next time.

Change how you prepare for the next exam. 

Armed with advice from your instructor or GSI, you should also reflect on how you will prepare differently for your next exam. How will you manage your time in class differently? How will you manage your time and prepare for tests leading up to the next exam? How might the way you learn or process information influence how you should study?

Sometimes the circumstances of our personal lives affect our academic performance. 

The Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers many resources to deal with wellness issues, including one-on-one appointments with trained counselors; yoga and meditation  groups; and even a Wellness Zone, a self-service space where students can decompress through gaming and other therapies. In addition to these services, CAPS also offers counseling and group sessions on common issues facing students such as test anxiety, stress and time management, and understanding procrastination.

 

What to do if you have difficulty in a course.

Meet with your instructor and GSI right away to discuss your options. 

It is normal to feel intimidated about the idea of meeting with a professor in a large class.  However, you may be surprised by how much you can actually do to boost your grade in the class you are struggling in. For tips on talking with your professors, see Consulting with Faculty.

Meet with your academic advisor right away. 

Your academic advisor can point you to a variety of resources that you may have never considered.  Your advisor can also help you realistically assess the impact this class will have on your term and cumulative gpa.  To schedule an advising appointment, call 734.764.0332.

Use available supplemental instruction and tutoring resources. 

Many departments offer tutoring and other forms of help for students who are struggling. To see a list of these resources, considering using the college resources available to you. For specific department resources, check the department’s website.

 

What to do if you are failing most of your classes.

Meet with your instructors/GSIs to see if you can salvage your classes. 

For tips on talking with your professors, see Consulting with Faculty.

Schedule an appointment with a general advisor or Academic Standards Board member to discuss your options. 

Your options will vary depending on the time of the term.  It’s best to see an advisor as soon as you realize you’re having difficulty as you will have more options for managing your semester earlier in the term than later. Please contact the Newnan Academic Advising Center at 734.764.0332 to schedule an appointment.

Reflect on why you are failing. 

Is it because of health or mental health issues? Are you working too many hours at a job? Are your course choices inappropriate for your interests and skill level? Are you having distracting conflicts with your friends or family members? In the best of worlds, would you prefer being out of school doing something else? If there are personal issues affecting your academic performance, visit the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS offers many services to help students navigate and overcome many different challenges.

 

What to do if you are having trouble finding a major.

It is not uncommon for students to struggle to find their major. Fortunately, there are people and resources to help you find your major and your path through your undergraduate years.  Whether you began with one major and are now changing your mind or have had difficulty deciding on a major from the start, it is never too late to find your way to a meaningful completion of your education.

This exploration begins with using the resources available to you at the LSA Focus website. This website is designed to be an easy starting point for students exploring majors and minors.

Meet with your academic advisor to discuss how to explore the course guide, majors, minors, and supplemental studies

Before your appointment, look over the advice on choosing your major on the Newnan Advising Center’s website.

Visit the Career Center to learn how your interests connect to the skills valued in different careers and how this can help you find a major

The Career Center’s Career Guides highlight curriculum requirements as well as skills and abilities that may be developed and applied through each major. The Career Center also offers two career assessment tools to help in your choice of academic major or career: the Myers—Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Survey.

Attend the Major/Minor Expo and department information sessions

The Major/Minor Expo is held in winter semester. This is your chance to talk with faculty and students from LSA departments to learn more about their majors. LSA departments also hold informational sessions during this time. Go to the Majors and Minors Expo page for details.