How to get bad grades and still succeed

October is the month we students start to feel a little sad because we get back our marks from our assignments/tests we submitted in September… Or is it just me? It also prolly has something to do with the weather.

*Disclaimer: The title of this post may be misleading to some – because you should know you won’t graduate university with marks that are considered below passing. But I want to draw attention to the success in life you can have despite getting bad grades here and there. 

I deserved that 57%. I didn’t pay attention in class the day the prof explained the concept. I didn’t ask the questions I had. I didn’t make the effort to see my prof in her office to get further clarification on the next assignment. Do you really want to know if I even did the reading/homework? #scholarstatus


Alright so the assignment was worth 1% of my final mark but you can’t expect me to be totally okay with it the moment I see my mark. But I realized after sulking about it for a whole day, I can be okay with it. I can step back and look at the bigger picture. My marks don’t mean that I am incapable or stupid or never going to graduate or never going to find a job. They’re just there to point out where I need to put in a little more effort.

It’s only been a month. That means there’s almost 3 more I can use to get it together if it’s a 3-credit course and the rest of the year if it’s a 6-credit course. You can tell what type of person I am when it comes to exam season. “If I get a 50% on this exam, I’ll pass with a 70%…”


But for real, failure is an experience. And, I’m down to learn from all my experiences – the good and the bad. Every single one of ’em. I ended up putting in that extra effort for the next assignment by doing further research on the topic online. And well ladies and gents, I got a 60% on my last assignment in the same course. THAT’S A WHOPPING 3% HIGHER THAN THE FIRST TIME!!! Baby steps y’all, baby steps.

It makes me wonder about the purpose of it all when I hear that my friends are being diagnosed with health conditions, both physical and mental because they’re stressed out. Students are depressed. Students are having panic attacks. They feel inadequate because standards are all they see in front of them. But y’all, the most successful people we know today who made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of our world were not… wait for it… straight A students… What!?

steve jobs.gif
Steve Jobs approves of this message

The job market today is 80% connections and networking. Passion, drive, and communication skills are far more obvious than the mark you got on your thesis paper or what you finished your degree with. And you athletes know that hustle beats talent!

Ask yourself this question as a student: are you getting your education to reach a destination? Or are you using your education to figure out how you can make a positive difference in the world? I’d assume you’d prefer answering the latter, and if that means failing a class or two to get you closer to what you’re really meant to do, then so be it.

Y’all are worth more than that. Keep on hustlin’, je vous promets you’ll succeed with mediocre grades! Life is all about experiences – not whether or not you made it on the Dean’s list.