College is a time of much excitement -- and much stress. Making new friends, financing your education and finding time for your love life all can be real challenges. Of course, there’s also the academic side of things. A few academic challenges are common and sometimes may feel daunting, but they’re almost always manageable.
Getting a Grade You Don’t Like
A bad grade can be a blow to the ego, but fight the urge to tell a professor you need a better grade because you have to get into law school, medical school or graduate school, etc. That’s not his responsibility. If you’re not happy with your grade, schedule an appointment and explain that you want to make sure you do better on the next assignment and would really appreciate some advice. Think long and hard -- and wait for the emotional dust to settle -- before you ask a professor to reconsider a grade. Chances are that the irritation it will cause him won’t be worth the small difference it might make on your assignment.
Taking one course can be difficult enough, but balancing four or five at the same time sometimes can seem downright impossible. Take time at the beginning of the semester to plan for when assignments are due and exams are scheduled. You may find that some of the deadlines overlap. If that’s the case, don’t panic. Just make sure you start early enough and leave plenty of time to get everything done. Remember that assignments often take longer than you think.
Conducting Group Work
Group work is loved by slackers, but for students who always complete work ahead of time and at a high level it can be very stressful. The prospect of sharing the glory for work you deserve most of the credit for -- or the prospect of suffering because someone else didn’t complete their own tasks -- can be a tough challenge. But it’s also an opportunity for high-performing students to appreciate the contributions of other students and to serve as mentors.
Finding a Specialty You Like
College often is a time of exploration. Teachers, books and other students can open your eyes to possibilities you previously never considered. With all this new information it can be hard to zero in on what you’re most interested in. Keep in mind that it’s OK to leave your options open. Sometimes it's better to learn about a lot of different things that interest you than to pick a path you might regret later on.
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