The 5 Stages of Grade Grief

The 5 Stages of Grade Grief

By Contributor

Sometimes in life, you don't get straight A's. By “you,” I absolutely don't mean “me.” I always get straight A's. Anyway, these are the five stages you pass through when you get, say, a 63% on your Intro to Physics problem set.

You think, "I'm good at Physics! I got an A- in that college-level class I took in high school—the credits just didn't transfer. This is obviously a mistake. I got all the answers right—I just didn't show enough work. The student-graders can't possibly give me a 63% for that!"

Anger: You crumple the paper a bit. Maybe you mutter angry, angry words that your grandmother would be shocked to hear. Now the girl who happens to be sitting beside you is now terrified of you and will refuse to make eye contact... ever again.

Bargaining: You take your mildly-crumpled problem set up to your prof. He is uninterested in the work you didn't show. New tactic. Remind him that you received an A- in your non-calculus-based college-level physics class in high school, as well as a 3 on the AP Calc exam (Hey. The daily work was optional. Why would you do optional work?). In fact, you should probably skip to the 200-level physics class. They probably don't have to show their work there. It would be way easier. He says no.

Depression: You trudge slowly back to your table. The girl who was sitting beside you has scurried off. You don't care if she makes eye contact with you ever again. You don't care if you ever even GET to take Introduction to Quantum Theory. You will never care about anything ever again. All you know is that your entire academic career has been ruined by this problem set. You get out of the despicable hell-hole your school calls a “classroom” as quickly as possible.

Acceptance: As you're walking downstairs to your next class, you remind yourself that, in fact, you don't suck at everything. You got the answers right, you hotshot, and so if you so choose to grace the paper with your work, you will dominate the fine art of physics once again.

Ginger's Song of the Week:
I have a little bit of an addiction to Florence and the Machine. I honestly think I won't be able to rest easy until her new album comes out (on Halloween! Awesome. Anybody feel like getting me a Halloween present?). This is the lead single.

Have you passed through the stages of grade grief yet this semester?

Related post: The 5 Stages of Procrastination

Topics: science, grades, life according to ginger, college life, physics

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