Got a question? Send it to me at Sadie@thetriangle.org! My name’s Sadie Samson, and I’m an undergraduate student here at Drexel University. I love to write, listen and give my opinion, so ask away!
I feel swamped — completely! We’re only in the middle of the quarter, and I already feel like I’m tanking in all of my classes. I feel like I have a million papers, projects and exams without enough time to do it all. I study all the time, and I’m still not getting the grades I want. At this point it’s too late to drop my courses, but I’m afraid of getting a horrible GPA this quarter — help!
First, take a deep breath. Relax. We’re just hitting the middle of the quarter, and there is still time to salvage even the most abysmal of grades. Were it week 7 or 8 and you were worried about failing, it might be too late, but as of right now, when folks are still taking their first round of midterms, there is still a lot to be done. First things first: I’d make appointments with your academic adviser and your professors as soon as possible. Your academic adviser is assigned based on your major and has experience working with students on the same track as you. He or she will definitely be able to help you decide which classes to take next quarter to avoid feeling swamped while guaranteeing that you’ll graduate on time. Talking to your professors and seeing what they recommend you do to succeed in their classes will also be beneficial — they are the ones determining your grade, after all, and in many cases they have been teaching the course for years.
Find tutors. I can’t stress enough the good a proper tutor can do for grades that seem impossible to bring up. You say that you study all the time but still don’t get the grades you’d like to get. A tutor can help point you in the right direction by examining your study techniques to make them more effective. To find a good tutor, ask your friends who have already taken the class, contact your professors, and be sure to check out the various resource centers around campus — they can be a huge help, trust me.
So be sure to talk to your professors and your academic adviser, and seriously consider employing a tutor — it could be the turnaround you need academically to get the grades you want!
Wishing you luck on your midterms and projects!
Coming to college, I’ve been slightly overwhelmed with all of the drinking my new friends are doing over the weekends. I don’t mind going to parties and hanging out with them, but I’ve never been into drinking myself, so I am left just slightly out of place. The thing that bugs me most is that a majority of my high school friends who, a year ago, would have declined even a wine cooler, now want nothing more than cheap beer and booze to occupy their free time. Regardless of what they may say, starting a new habit of drinking does change a person. It is much harder to relate to my old friends and to find things to talk about and do when I see them. What advice can you give me in dealing with this new situation?
Sticking to Sober
Dear Sticking to Sober,
First, I’d like to commend you for staying true to yourself and not falling into the trap of peer pressure by joining in with your friends’ drinking just to fit in. Unfortunately, a lot of students just beginning college fall into drinking — not because they enjoy it but because their friends do it, so kudos for being ahead of the crowd.
Do remember, though, that you can’t change your friends or their new interests, just as they can’t change you. So while it may bug you that your friends drink now, they most likely won’t stop if you bring it up. Instead, you can stay connected to them by doing things that you all enjoy that have nothing to do with drinking, like seeing a movie or going to lunch. Keep the conversation alcohol-free so you don’t feel left out of it. If all they can talk about while you’re together is drinking, and you find that you have nothing more to talk about, you may want to re-evaluate why you call them your friends in the first place. You may also consider finding a new group of friends who share your values so that you won’t ever have to feel left out.
While it is unfortunate, sometimes feeling left out because you’re not drinking at a party may be unavoidable, especially when it seems like everyone there but you is doing it. Always feeling left out, however, is avoidable. There are plenty of things to do besides drink when you go out (meeting people, dancing, etc.), so don’t feel obligated to hang around doing nothing while your friends drink — this will only make you feel more and more left out. Think about what you like about going out, and do that instead of drink. You said you like going out, and if you don’t drink, there must be a sober reason you like to do it! Find out what attracts you to it, and occupy your time with that instead of drinking.
Once again, I commend you for knowing yourself and for being strong enough not to succumb to an activity just because the group is doing it. Keep your head up, and stay connected to your old friends by doing things you all enjoy.
Best of luck!