It can be said that life is all about perspective. Seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, kind of thing. Well, here is another way that having a positive perspective can help you tremendously: every new student starts their first semester with a 4.0 GPA and it is up to them to maintain it through their college life. So, instead of looking at it like you are starting at 0 and trying to reach the 4, understand that you are already at the 4 and all you have to do is keep it! We all start with A’s, not F’s, right? With that said, here are seven ways to maintain that 4.0 GPA you started your college life with!
1. Always Strive For An A
College life is one of those rare fresh starts where anything is possible. High school does not have to matter because a lot of colleges having placement tests to see which classes you score in. I barely graduated high school with an absolutely dismal GPA, yet I scored into honors college composition and have maintained a 4.0 GPA for my three completed semesters. During your college life, you are determining your academic path and therefore can pick classes that actually interest you, (instead of what the state requires). But also, college classes are taught for you to learn, instead of score well on some standardized test. It is totally possible for anyone to achieve an A in a class, just believe in yourself and look to the six other points to help!
2. From Day One
With that said, you are in control of your grades. From day one of every course, you start with an A in the class and almost all instructors break down what is excepted from A students. It is up to you to put forth all your effort in each assignment to keep your grade a 90% or higher throughout your college life. And how can you keep track of this? Well, print or download the syllabus then make your own grade book. With the list of total points available in the class, you can figure out how many points is 90%. From there you can list every single assignment and keep track as you submit them and they get graded. This will lead you to understand how many point wiggle room you have between what is 100% and 90%. So, even if you do not have an A on every assignment, you still have a great possibility of getting an A in the class. (And, if you have been rocking the class and have plenty of wiggle room you could skip an assignment altogether).
3. Stay Organized
Now it is time to get down to it. As mentioned in the College During Quarantine: Online Schooling Dos And Don’ts article, Manufacturing Your Own School Day has a huge effect on success. Part of this point is to have a designated workspace and having everything you could possibly need to get through the weeks’ worth of work. First things first, having the correct textbooks as listed on the syllabus. Then, having a physical or digital folder for all printed or downloaded material. It is also important to have a notebook for notes while reading the textbook or listening to lectures, and it is a great help to bookmark the start of each chapter and the glossary. Of course, you will need to have all your other supplies gathered too, such as pencils, erasers, and highlighters. Just as you would have if the class was in person, be as prepared for your college life as Hermione Granger or Rory Gilmore.
4. Take Your Time
Luckily, with the current state of college life, everything being online and most classes are without set meet times, you have all week to complete your work! So, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of all the time given for assignments. (Though, there is a huge difference between double-checking everything and being thorough versus procrastinating.) Sure, make sure you are doing things efficiently, but let us go above and beyond sufficiency, making sure not to miss out on easy points.
5. Ask Questions
This next point is actually super important. One of the easiest ways to lose points on an assignment is to not understand what you are supposed to be doing. Whether you do not understand the prompt for the paper or how to write up a lab, if you are going to submit your best work, you need to understand what is being asked for and what is expected from you. It is always better to ask a ton of questions, even if you think you already know the answer or some of them are redundant. To achieve 100% on your work you need to be 100% sure you know what you are doing. Oh! And try to keep those questions through email or Blackboard messaging so you have a copy of what is said to refer back to if needed.
6. Understand Yourself
I am not ashamed to say I withdrew from Beginning Italian I my first semester because my mindset had changed from “I am going to get an A” to “well, as long as I pass”, which is not fair to me or my instructor. (So, instead, I picked up a second eight-week Film Appreciation class, that I got an A in.) It was that moment of real-talk I had with myself that helped me understand what I was capable of and how I needed to move forward in my college life. So, do not be afraid to withdraw from a class and pick something else. It is important to understand how many classes you can handle in a semester – quality over quantity. It is also important to understand that even if you are taking honors courses for some subjects, you do not need to force yourself into honors everything, especially if you are weak in certain areas. This education is for you and your future, so do not feel pressured to learn a certain way.
7. Positive Reinforcement
There is absolutely nothing wrong with rewarding yourself as you go. Whether it is after an assignment, the whole week, or the whole semester, you did an amazing job with your college life and deserve to treat yourself. Remember, you can get B’s and C’s on assignments and keep an A in the class, and going to college and university is for you and your future. Do not compare yourself to others and just keep pushing forward.
Even if you do not have a 4.0 GPA right now or lose it in the future, it is possible to get it back with dedication and hard work throughout your college life. It is important to remember to aim to achieve excellence, not perfection. Everyone is amazing in their own way, so never think that you can’t do it. Comment below any other tips and tricks to getting back to or maintaining a 4.0 GPA!
Author | English Major | #RealLifeBelle | Academic Romance | "This was no accident, this was a therapeutic chain of events." | www.TheMousyGirl.com