I may be a dramatic character. As a matter of fact, at Yale I was given the following adjectives: colorful, vivacious, dramatic, and warm. I embrace them all shamelessly. Yale is a wonderful place, but as everything in this world is not perfect. The YVISP batch arrives so enthusiastic just to be reminder that even in this magical place things can go wrong. And that’s not bad, is just life.
There are two ways things can go wrong: emotionally and academically. I briefly encountered both. In this entry I am going to focus on the latter. We arrive with a different mentality and used to another system. But after the first assignment, call it paper, reading response, or pset the skies suddenly turned grey. From where I come from you do an effort and you get an excellent grade. But that’s not the way Yale functions. Is very rare that you’ll get an excellent grade in the first assignment, at least in my area. The idea is that you just enter the course and you haven’t learn the abilities or knowledge to get an excellent grade.
However, there is a difference: if the Professor hands in your paper telling you that it was great, then you are in the right path but the semester just begun. If the Professor just hands in your paper without saying something or without a nice note (“Go see a writing tutor” doesn’t count) then it was not good. No matter which case you encounter, don’t panic! This is not the end.
The first semester I was shocked, I worked 15 hours on my paper and the grade I was given was disappointing. Later on I learned that you can always get better and the grading system is extremely tough in the beginning and tough in the end. My recommendations are: go to the writing center, get a writing partner, talk to your academic advisor, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Seriously, the reason we go to college is to learn. So, chin up and get to work!