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SassyPink's avatar

Help! Im on academic probation? what are my chances?

Asked by SassyPink (279points) March 30th, 2010

Last quarter I was put on academic probation. But what seems really unfair for my gpa is that the two remedial classes that im am taking does not even count towards my gpa. See last fall quarter, I’m taking four classes: 2 four unit classes (both of these are my “completely-waste-of-time-and-energy” remedial classes), 1 five unit class (my science major), and 1 two unit class. So I have received an A-, C, D, A. Because I have a low grade in my five unit class (while my other two remedial classes doesn’t count toward my gpa because it is only a pass/fail class) I received an email from my school about it. One of my older siblings told me to not to stress too much about it and to not let my folks know about the probation (as she was also on probation before too at grad school), I signed the effing contract to stay above a 2.0 or at least to stay away from the 1.5 range in order not to get kicked out.
This time, winter quarter has gotten worse for me… I was taking all four classes: 2 five and six unit science classes (for my science major), 1 “part 2” of my remedial class taught by the same crazy English prof. that I am stuck with from the fall quarter (4 units) , and 1 college math class (4 units) with a prof. who teaching is very sloppy. I was at 19 units (I know a lot of work…) at first because I thought I might need college math class for one of my science classes as a requirement. Later on, I discovered that I don’t have to take it right away and begin to drop the class which reduces my total units to 15. Even with 15 units, I almost always feel like I am falling way behind of a lot of my classes. This is probably due to the facts that one of my classes will always require more attention than my other classes. There are some times where I have to lose hours of sleep because I have to study or complete assignments for other classes that I have due to lack of time. It seems like no matter how much I try to put my effort into accomplish things (whether possible or not), it never matters…. unless I am stroked with a learning disability….
Any ways I haven’t seen the results for my grade but I bet they are most likely going to be D, D, and C.
I do not know what went wrong with my studies….I don’t drink, I don’t go partying, I’m not dating, I don’t smoke and/or do any of the related stuff. I’m just trying to be a good egg and even that wasn’t good enough to make accomplishments.
Although I have taken three easier (non-stressful and non-suffocating) classes for the spring quarter, I’m not sure about my chances back at the university. At this point, I decided to not to take another science related class (but does it mean I’ll be in university for another five years? {I was going for four and I really don’t want to be graduating in five years unless I take classes during the summer}) I don’t know what to do. What do you think of my chances? Do I have a learning disability?

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15 Answers

janbb's avatar

Well, you cetainly have a confusing way of writing a question! But the real answer is you have to talk to your academic counselor and get some knowlegeable advice..

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

You have to pretty much not try in order to not maintain a 2.0.
Take some electives or easy classes next quarter and get A’s to bring your average up.

lilikoi's avatar

I can’t stand your giant wall of text, but I agree w/ @Captain_Fantasy. I did crossword puzzles in half my lectures and skipped the other half to hang at the beach and I still didn’t drop below a 3.0. Taking some easy classes is a good idea and will buy you a little time. You need to learn how to learn. Be honest with yourself and get to the bottom of your issues. Maybe you are trying to major in something you just aren’t interested in. Talk to your adviser and figure it out – pronto!

hug_of_war's avatar

You’re making a lot of excuses. Stop that. Be in charge of your own destiny. Even when you’re tired and don’t want to.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I have a couple recommendation for you. But first don’t stress too much. It really depends on what type of school you are in. When I was at the University they let you mess up a couple times in a row and even if you were officially declared “kicked out” you could appeal. When my brother was at the community college they also let you mess up a couple times in a row but at some point they make you pay them back for your “mess up”. So if this is only your second time then really you should be okay. You may need to take steps to help yourself if you get another letter but hey that’s how it goes.

Recommendations:
1. Take lighter class loads. You seem to be over doing it a bit with your class loads. Try taking only 3 classes a semester/term and maybe a seminar. It may make you graduate a bit later but so will getting D’s.
2. Please see an Academic Advisor. If you don’t like the one you see just ask to see a different one. They can be a huge help.
3. Try a different studying method. The studying methods that actually work can sometimes contradict our common sense. What works is recall. You must have recall (you can’t just read and learn). And what works best for recall is flashcards. So make yourself a ton of flashcards. Mix them up (do not study by chapter). Then study 10 at a time until you get those down then add an extra ten and study those twenty etc… It really works.
4. Find a healthy extracurricular. Students who are “involved” get better grades b/c they have to have better time management skills. Also it helps relieve stress and have others around who can help you out.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Your chances are excellent if you grow up and begin accepting responsibility for your own grades, as opposed to blaming others.

SassyPink's avatar

@janbb and @lilikoi yeah sorry about how i write my question. i was kinda in a frantic for a moment because i was very concerned about my grades. I also have a habit of rushing through my sentences and writing. My situation really is a long story so thats why i’m writing as much…..by the way, both of y’all advices are a little helpful

SassyPink's avatar

@CaptainHarley (also @hug of war) what did you mean by blaming on others? i didn’t exactly said it was the university’s fault that i am receiving poor grades. i didn’t exactly blame on my proffersors either (more on myself really). And of course I already knew whose“fault” really is when it comes to my grades. I’m sorry if the tone of my question sounds like im playing “the blaming game” to you, but i never meant it to sound that way. im not usually a type a person to be pointing fingers at others for my own prblems which they have nothing to do with. im usually a smart student, who at some point begin to struggle with all of her classes due to time management and having a hard time grasping the concept of some of the subjects (which also makes me wonder if i have a learning disability or not b/c in the past, i used to be in a ISP program).

Bottom line? i’m just saying that i’m in a situation which i totally mess up and fail to reach the goal for and i’m looking for a second chance to make up for my mistakes (with a fresher start) and redeeming myself if possible.

Jeruba's avatar

I just have to ask this, and not to be mean or harsh but just to ask: do you think that the way you wrote your question (and the two comments just above this) is a good sample of your self-expression, your writing skills, and your thought process?

jlm11f's avatar

Whoa. Okay. First things first, take a couple of deep breaths and step back. As an academic, it is often easy to think your grades are everything. They are not. Obviously you need to kick it up a notch, but by freaking out (which is what your writing style indicates you are doing), you’re not going to solve anything. Meet with your academic advisor(s) immediately. If needed, write a letter to the Dean of the department of your major and explain what happened. If you write an appeal and if you have an okay past with grades, you should be allowed to stay. People working in colleges know that things can go wrong, people mess up, shit in life happens etc etc. Be honest and you’ll be surprised by all the people that are willing to help you.

Now, your classes. You might need to slow things down a bit. If you feel you can’t handle your current schedule, you need to take fewer classes/semester. If this means you need to study year round (including summer) then that’s okay. If this means you’ll graduate in 5 instead of 4 years, that’s okay too. Better 5 years than never. And at this age, it’ okay to spend that extra year if needed. You’ll learn different things and grow as a learner and as a person during this time.

As for your feeling that you might have a learning disability. Honestly? Chances are low. But I feel that you_must_ go to the learning center in your college and get checked out. Why? Because if you don’t get a legit answer on that subject, you’ll always have that in the background to blame for messing up. It’s imperative you know because if you do have one, you can work towards dealing with that, and if you don’t you can better identify the reason you’re have trouble coping. What’s your study schedule? What’s your sleep schedule? It seems you might be having trouble with time management, which is a very common problem for college students. Most colleges have seminars that discuss how to make better use of your time. Attend them. Also, realize that getting disciplined takes a lot of hard work and time. Results are going to come slowly.

You can do this. Every student has a different path. Don’t think that because some students can finish the curriculum for your major in 4 years, that you have to too. People learn differently. You can either be stubborn and try to do things the way you feel society demands, or you can learn your strengths and weakness and use that knowledge to your benefit to figure out a system that works for you.

Good luck!

PS For the future, paragraphs are your friend :)

YARNLADY's avatar

When that happened to my son, he quit going to college and took classes at a trade school in his favorite subject. He received a government grant and financial aid, and prepared for the career he wanted.

noyesa's avatar

If you feel like you’re working your ass off with little reward, you’re probably focusing your effort in the wrong ways.

I got a D in a class once, which cost me a lot to retake later. The first time I took it, I fell behind, pushed off studying/doing lab reports to the last minute. I ultimately put more stress and effort into that class than any of the other classes I was taking (As across the board aside from that one) and got a worse grade.

College is not about doing a lot of work, it’s about learning. You can put all the effort you want into it, if you don’t learn the material you’re going to fall flat on your ass. Period. Last minute, all-nighter cramming sessions DO NOT WORK if you want to do very well on your tests.

Make sure you know how to learn, how to study, and how to manage your time. I don’t know how many times I wanted to kick myself in the head because I missed the last problem on the test only because I simply didn’t have an extra hour to finish that section completely. Don’t assume certain things won’t be covered—you have to learn all of it. Learning good study habits like these is important to keeping yourself on track. Falling behind is academic suicide.

You sound pretty frantic, so you might be surprised by the warm reaction you get when you try to explain your situation and what’s going on with you to an academic advisor. They’ll be able to help you figure out what it is you’re doing wrong and what steps to take to correct it.

DarkScribe's avatar

A question.

What were the remedial classes? They had to have been set for a purpose.

As for “crazy English Professor” I think that his craziness might associated with your very poor English expression. No matter what your major will not get good grades if you cannot express yourself clearly and concisely.

You are claiming a Professor’s teaching “is sloppy”. Is that really so or is that your learning is “sloppy”? (You need to stop making excuses and trying to shift responsibility.)

You say: There are some times where I have to lose hours of sleep because I have to study or complete assignments for other classes that I have due to lack of time.

Time is only lacking if you have not organised yourself and allocated time.

You say: At this point, I decided to not to take another science related class (but does it mean I’ll be in university for another five years?

This means you have decided to drop your major? If so, how can anyone determine how much longer you need to study unless you indicate what your new major would be?

It seems to be that right from the start you “bit off more than you could chew” in the sense that you are not organised, that you had not determined how much work was involved in your course load. Perhaps a year or so off study might be a good idea if you are really going to drop your major. Talk to your counselor and see if you can do that and still retain some credit. Don’t wait to get kicked out.

SassyPink's avatar

@DarkScribe
You:“What were the remedial classes? They had to have been set for a purpose.”

Math and English. Math is my strong subject. I was almost this close to getting into a regular math class by two points. Overall, i did fine from both remedial classes.

You:“As for “crazy English Professor” I think that his craziness might associated with your very poor English expression. No matter what your major will not get good grades if you cannot express yourself clearly and concisely.”

It’s not like i am doing poorly in the class, i got a C. To answer the “poor English expression” remark, english is not exactly my first language since I have an African background and I speak with a thick accent. It Only took me a few years to learn how to speak and write english. I always having differculty with writing an essay more than two pages long. I said that my Professor is “crazy” (it’s not just me only, the rest of my classmates think so as well too, I talk to every one of them) because every week, she would expect the entire class to write 6–8 pages of essay each week. (This is one of the classes where i have put most of my energy on. Because i would always have to put more effort on my essay by improving my writing expression and based on the next challenging writing assignment). My english professor and i did talk about my progress to the point where i finally begin to understand where she is comming from.

You:“You are claiming a Professor’s teaching “is sloppy”. Is that really so or is that your learning is “sloppy”? (You need to stop making excuses and trying to shift responsibility.)”

That statement is actually true as i experience it. Well here is the story: Two people that i know who previeously took this math professor’s class before had told me about his teachings. One of them (a “B” student) would literally walked out of his class immediately because she felt that he wasn’t doing a good job teaching and wasn’t getting much out of his class. I didn’t believe them at first until i took the class myself, they were right about his teaching “being a little sloppy”, but it wasn’t enough to discourage me from taking the class at the time. The real reason why I later decided to drop it (as i have stated earlier in my questions. But yes, my question was hard to get out of since i wrote it out of anxiety at the time. Whenever i’m anxieous or upset about something, it becomes harder for me to think and write straight.) is because i was overloading myself with too many units and i feel that i need to drop this class in order to reduced the units.

You:“You say: There are some times where I have to lose hours of sleep because I have to study or complete assignments for other classes that I have due to lack of time.
Time is only lacking if you have not organised yourself and allocated time.”

That’s true… Time management has been my problem lately since i’ve started college.

You:“You say: At this point, I decided to not to take another science related class (but does it mean I’ll be in university for another five years?
This means you have decide to drop your major? If so, how can anyone determine how much longer you need to study unless you indicate what your new major would be?”

I am not dropping my major. I’m only decided to push some of my science related classes back for my sophmore year. I will also give myself another chance to retake some of the the classes that i failed (in order to meet the requirements).

You: It seems to be that right from the start you “bit off more than you could chew” in the sense that you are not organised, that you had not determined how much work was involved in your course load. Perhaps a year or so off study might be a good idea if you are really going to drop your major. Talk to your counselor and see if you do that and still retain some credit. Don’t wait to get kicked out.

True..

Janka's avatar

You need to:
1) Take deep breaths and step back a little. Trust me, if you will need to spend six years at your studies instead of four or whatever, it does not matter the least bit 15 years from now. You can work through this, but for that you need to want to work through it, not just want the problem to disappear.

2) Make a schedule of what you need to do and when you need to do it. Be honest with yourself; do not make the schedule based on what you think something “should” take, but based on how much you think it will take for you. For example: you do not write as fast as other people, so you need to allocate more time for writing, possibly a lot more, if you want the result to be as good.

3) If the schedule requires you to drop sleep or does not allow for one extracurricular / free time activity that you enjoy, you need to drop your class load. You cannot learn if you don’t sleep and relax. Whenever you make a schedule for a new term, prioritize the classes you intend to take, so that if you need to emergency drop a class because the load is more than you expected, you know beforehand what it is that you will drop. That way, you do not have to panic about it and can still concentrate getting good grades from the ones you keep, instead of barely scraping through them all.

4) In general, concentrate on doing fewer things, but doing them better.

5) Work on your English. Especially since it is not your first language, this will be hard work. (Believe me, I know, been there, done that, and still working on it.) Allocate some time to reading, not just schoolbooks, but reading for fun. Allocate a lot of time for writing your essays and such. When allowed, recruit the help of a fluent friend that can proofread for you and make suggestions on what to improve. Really work at making everything you write (including questions on Fluther!) better than you would have written it yesterday. This not only helps you get better grades, it also helps you organize your thoughts in the language, which is, in the end, the basis of all science too.

6) Probably talk to a study counselor or equivalent at your school. As @DarkScribe said, don’t wait to be kicked out; go to them now and ask what they think. Really listen to their answers. As these things go, you probably won’t like their suggestions, but they probably are right, and they will think well of you for asking for advice and taking it before it was too late.

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