How I got back on track after a tough semester

student on the tempe campus wearing a facemask and backpack

By: Tylie, justice studies major and Success coach

As a current student and success coach who works with students who are struggling on a daily basis, I know what it feels like to not be doing your best academically. So many of us have faced a tough semester, and it’s okay to not be okay about it. Sometimes just planning to continue with your studies and do better next semester is a success. 

If you’re wondering how you can combat these kinds of academic struggles, whether they’re pandemic-related or not, I’ve been there, and it is possible. I’m sharing my story in the hopes that it can help you get back where you want to be. 

My comeback story 

In the first semester of my senior year, I was overwhelmed. I was the president of my sorority, in the process of studying for my law school admission test, working two jobs, and a full-time student trying to maintain a decent GPA. I had all of these expectations for myself to achieve success on top of the expectations from my family. I was not okay.

I started to lose my motivation to care, constantly dropping the ball on my responsibilities. I was missing assignment after assignment, to the point where I wasn't sure if I was going to pass a few of my classes. I just didn’t care and prioritized hanging out with my friends and doing things that made me happy in the short-term, ignoring the long term consequences. 

My supervisor at the Student Success Center, Katie, started to notice a change in me, 

and if it weren’t for her reaching out and listening to me, I don’t know where I would be in life at this point. She sat me down, and we had a long and emotional conversation about my future and the goals I had set for myself. She validated my feelings and struggles and gave me the tough love advice that I needed to hear. 

After that, I took a long hard look at myself and started to plan. I accepted where I was, set small goals for myself and started to celebrate every success, no matter how small. I reached out to my sister and asked her to help me find a good therapist because I knew I wouldn’t do it on my own. 

Changing for myself was not easy and not something I was excited to do, so I decided to “fake it until I made it.” I did all the things I knew I needed to do but didn’t want to do or feel like I could do. I told myself every day how much of a boss I was. Did I believe it all the time? No. Did I feel silly giving myself positive affirmations every day? Absolutely. Did it help? 100%. 

Every day I made sure I woke up with a purpose, and finding that purpose helped me get to where I am today: graduating with honors, with a full-time job lined up after graduation and law school right around the corner. 

You have resources and a support system too.

Even if your supervisor doesn’t reach out to you, or you’re hiding your struggle from everyone, you have resources at ASU to help you get out of your funk and back on track.

  • Counseling services: ASU Counseling Services has always been a great resource for students, and now you can connect with a counselor 24-hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, in multiple languages, from anywhere in the world! Find out how to get started with the new and free ASU Counseling Open Call and Open Chat option.

  • Student Success Center: Coaching at the Success Center is available to all ASU students regardless of your year in school. Success coaching empowers students to thrive both inside and outside the classroom, and coaches (like me!) customize our coaching to your individual interests, strengths and needs, demonstrating how the right person at the right time can change a life

  • Tutoring and writing centers: There are so many people and resources at ASU focused on your success as a student. Academic success programs such as tutoring, math lab, and the writing center are a great place to start reaching out for help. In my experience, students I’ve coached who take advantage of these services tend to perform better academically. Start by learning everything you need to know about the tutoring center.  

  • Your academic advisor: Utilize your advisors for anything academic. If you are looking for internships, want to add a major/minor/certificate, or need advice on your academic career, they can help. If you have not yet scheduled your classes for next semester, be sure to do so soon with your advisor.

  • Your professors: Your professors are a great resource that not a lot of people realize they can use. They are here to help you learn and want you to succeed. Reach out to them, ask questions and go to office hours. 

Be kind to yourself and remember, you’re only human. Most importantly, I know you can do this!

Hey Sunny

A library of helpful advice, tips and answers to questions from students to Sunny.

ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.

Welcome to the Hey Sunny blog – a library of advice for students from Sunny and the team supporting the bot.

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