You are in complete and utter disbelief. You studied all week, spent your entire week at the library, and for what? To see the disappointing grade you got on your prelim. Whether you’re a freshman or a returning student, bad grades on prelims are an unfortunate reality for us all. So here are a few things to remember after you’ve gotten a bad prelim grade.

1. Remember, this is the Ivy League, which means that the academic rigor is more intense than other schools. With more academic rigor, comes more stress. Oftentimes, stress can lead to test anxiety, which sometimes leads to worse academic performance. Keep in mind – Cornell is hard.

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2.  When you take an L, you gotta bounce back. Most classes have multiple prelims and a final exam. Some professors also drop your lowest exam grade. There’s also homework, section, and extra credit. So, pick yourself up and use the bad grade as motivation to do better on the next exam. Don’t forget about office hours either- I cannot begin to tell you how many TAs have saved my GPA at Cornell.

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3. When it all comes crashing down, ice cream will always be there. Cornell has a lot of dining options and makes its own ice cream, so you can go get a little pick me up at the Dairy Bar, Nasty’s, Trillium, or Jansen’s. GreenStar, Target, Walmart, and 7-Eleven have different options as well. There’s little that frozen creamy goodness can’t fix.

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One last thing: don’t be too hard on yourself. Cornell is hard, and the semester just started! Try to think big picture. You have plenty of time to bounce back. Imagine your life after Cornell when you won’t have to deal with exams (unless you plan on pursuing further education). Remember, even Beyonce has bad days; it’s part of what makes us human.

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