First-years (actually everyone): A bad midterm mark doesn’t mean you won’t get a job.
In your senior year of high school, you apply to approximately 20 colleges. Get rejected by approximately 15 of them. Then you go to Brown, thinking you achieved something, just something. But then you get here and you miss your family and your friends. You attend your first day of classes, and you think, ‘that was easy.’ You finish your first homework. You sign up for a ton of club listservs and apply to the few ones that interest you. But then you get your first grades back and you get rejected by those clubs and it all falls down.
Sometimes you just start thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t think I can survive here’ or ‘I think that Brown Admissions made a mistake.’ That’s how I felt in my first month here.
Every time I got a good grade, I’d talk to my parents with a smile. If I got a bad grade, I would bawl my eyes out to them. Growing up in India doesn’t make it any easier either. I know this mentality is common for freshmen, and maybe sophomores and juniors too. Many of us spent our time in high school stressed about our grades. I know I had to make many sacrifices to get accepted into Brown. I don’t want to base my entire day on a number or get a soft tingle in my stomach every time I receive an email saying that grades have been released. I mean that was what high school was for anyway, right? But why does it have to be like that? Why do we have to create that mentality? If this negative experience is so common, why hasn’t it been it addressed yet?
And then it occurred to me — after talking with my Primary Advisor, Meiklejohn and WiSE mentor all in the same day that my pathetic grade was released. I should stop linking my grades on ONE homework to not getting a job in four years. Why is it so prominent among freshmen? I mean if you think about it, we received grades in high school that made us feel worthless and like we’d never get accepted into any top college. And we succeeded and got into Brown. Why didn’t we learn from that? Why don’t we see that the same thing can happen after a bad grade in college?
I mean yes, college classes are harder, but with resources like those we have at Brown, we should feel way more comfortable. For God’s sake, it’s not like there was S/NC in high school! And we, as first-years, having just graduated from high school, should remember this better than anyone else.
Just because it feels like everyone else has it together doesn’t mean they do. I think there’s a pressing need to address this feeling. Not everyone talks about it, but not everyone jokes about it either. We should.