Waiting for professors to post final grades is an emotional rollercoaster

A voyage of highs, lows and occasional boredom


Few things are more painful than finals. From the cramming to the all-nighters to the last-minute realizations you forgot to study entire chapters — exams always find a way to make life miserable. The moment the test is over, however, all of that stress disappears for a single, sweet moment. The class is finished. All that studying is over, forever. You’ve done all you can.

Now, all you have to do is wait.

Uh oh.

Stage One — Panic Immediately

Congratulations. The relief is gone. Now there is only fear.

“Wait,” you think. “What if I failed? I didn’t know all the answers to that test.” 

Or, “I felt good about that test, but what if I’m wrong?”

Even if you had a high grade in the class going in, it can be hard to avoid this kind of thinking. You find yourself checking SIS often, waiting for the first batch to come in.

Stage Two — Early Arrivals

The first grades arrive. Some of them often show up just a few hours after finals, making you wonder if the professor took the time to grade you correctly. You celebrate the positive and suffer through the negative.

Or maybe, you just skip this stage entirely by freaking out and refusing to check your grades until months later. In any case, at least you didn’t have to wait for eternity for grades to be posted.

Stage Three — Waiting for Grades to be Posted

Now comes the wait, and there always seems to be at least one professor content with letting you suffer for days before updating SIS. Some — like mine — can even take weeks. The early arrivals have come and gone, and now you are at the mercy of these stragglers to either save or annihilate your GPA. Now there is nothing to do but endure endless cycles of hope and despair

“Maybe the test will be curved,” you think to yourself during moments of hope. “Or, maybe I have extra credit. Or, maybe,” you think during moments of despair, “I failed because I’m terrible at life.”

Stage Four — Total Ambivalence

The grades don’t matter anymore. You’ve gone through enough cycles of hope and despair to become too tired to care. The grades might as well be someone else’s. Last semester is dead to you.

“I just want to move on with my life,” you think.

Stage Five — Last Grades are Posted

OH S—T! Grades matter again. You hear from a friend the class has updated, and the fear is back. Well, it’s now or never. Time to check SIS.

Stage Six — SIS is the Worst Thing Ever

SIS is being terrible. As if you weren’t already stressed enough, you now are forced to stumble through a series of confusing, barely functioning menus. Maybe it crashes on you or logs you out for no reason. Who knows? Anything is possible with the power of the Student Information System.

Stage Seven — Results

And there they are. Your final grades for the semester. Sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised. Sometimes less so.

No matter what, at least you don’t have to wait any longer.

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