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Because I Am Getting Bad Grades

For the first time in my life I am getting bad grades. Not that I am arrogant or anything but I have always found it pretty easy to stay on top, keep up to date with work and done well at the end of it. However, now, at a time when I really need to do well - university - I am not. I am trying harder than I've ever tried before, giving it my absolute best and it doesn't seem to be paying off..

 

This morning I had a portfolio assessment and my teachers basically said everything I've done is weak. They liked two pieces I produced, that's it. I thought I was on the right track, doing really well with illustration and I was really pleased with my final pieces but the teachers, not so keen. I'm really disappointed as I needed to get at least a 2:1 in order to get a 2:1 overall in my degree, because my marks last term were bad as well. Now I think I'm headed for a third

 

I feel like dropping out now, I don't know what the point is anymore if I'm trying my hardest and nothing is good enough, and I hate the place I go to uni too so to be stuck here getting into debt, in a place I hate, doing something I'm failing at, seems like a bad idea really....

juniper juniper 21-25, F 2 Responses May 19, 2008

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I went through the same deal. I was valedictorian at my high school. Before entering college, I found it very easy to get high marks in all of my classes. I wouldn't even study very hard, and my scores literally blew the curve in just about every class.<br />
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But when I started college, I realized that I was suddenly competing with other people who did just as well as me in high school. In a class with 1000 of the smartest people from high schools all across the country, I was in the bottom 10% of my class. I've never been there before in my entire life.<br />
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So I decided that I would find the person who seemed to be working the hardest in my class. And whatever amount of time he was spending on school work, I would double it. If he studied for 8 hours a day, I studied for 16. It was crazy , but I really hated losing. And I was convinced that if you spend enough time working on something you will get better than people who spend less time even if they are natually better than you.<br />
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In the end, I graduated in the top 5% of my class and received 7 job offers during a recession when most of my classmates were lucky to receive 1. Of course I had to sacrifice my social life to do this. But I have never regretted doing this.<br />
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Anyway, there's an interesting book called "Outliers: The Story of Success" that bascially tries to make the point that most of the successful people in history became successful because they spent tons of time (at least 10,000 hours) on their craft before they became successful. This includes people we would normally think of as "geniuses" who were born with talent. In fact, the book tries to point out that they just benefitted from hard work and luck. This includes people like Mozart, Bill Gates and the Beatles.

What were their criticisms? What were the weaknesses? They should have explained the criticism to some extent. Art is extremely subjective and as you know there are many singers and actors who received less than praise for their abilities and went on to succeed. Ask them if you can't recall and try and make corrections that they suggest. If they see that you are trying to improve they will take note during their next assessment. One of my teachers got an attitude once when I brought in a portrait that everyone in the class was oohing and awhing over. So she immediately felt a need to deflate me it seemed. Ask other students in the class what they think makes it weak and look at some of their work too. It will give you an idea of the level you are at with your work. Art is not always about art!