1. Treat yourself to your favorite meal
This may seem counterintuitive at first — why treat yourself to something nice after you failed? Because that’s when you need it the most. Besides, your grades don’t define you — your love of spicy Chick-fil-A sandwiches does. Grab a nice meal, remind yourself that that midterm was a mere 30 percent of your final grade, and start looking for back-up majors while chowing down on good food.
2. Escape into virtual reality
If food doesn’t get you over the hump, how about a little trip? Step into the third floor of Clem, and you’ll shortly find yourself in a world of pure imagination. Put on a set of virtual reality goggles, and you’ll be teleported to a much better place — both a place where statistics is not a prerequisite for almost every major and a place where statistics is much easier.
3. Set your sights on spring break and the coast
If you’re reading this article, it’s a mere couple of days until spring break. Whether you’re going abroad — I’ve heard Italy is nice this time of year — or having a stay-cation here in Charlottesville, perhaps looking forward to that week is what you need to get past this bad grade. Having time to refresh your mind after two months of nonstop work may be exactly what you need to prepare yourself for two more.
4. Play your favorite sad album on repeat
I’ve always found this to be a very effective method, mostly because I already spend most of my time listening to Coldplay regardless of my mood. There is something therapeutic about sad music — perhaps listening to “Cat’s in the Cradle” puts that bad accounting midterm in perspective. Still, almost any music can work, except for that new Lady Gaga song. It just isn’t good, no matter what the people in my improv group say. There’s nothing special about it, guys, and I hope that you read this because I don’t feel comfortable saying this to your faces.
5. Study for the next one
I feel an obligation to give one inkling of actual advice in this piece. Get your exam back, see where you went wrong, go to office hours, re-read the textbook and flip back through your notes. If you studied a lot for the first one and the results weren’t great, see if you can find a different study method that works for this class. Get more sleep the night of the exam, so on and so forth. Now back to the jokes.
6. Don’t study for the next one
If you really bombed your first midterm — we’re talking teens and single digits here — perhaps it is better to focus your energy elsewhere. If you’re in a position where you need a 367 percent on the final to scrape out a C-minus, take the loss and focus your energy on other, more feasible classes. Consider this tough love.
7. Take out your anger at the gym
I personally cannot do this at the moment, as I am suffering from self-diagnosed golfer’s elbow — yes, that is a real thing, Google it — after an incident with the AFC’s rowing machine, which must be defunct. But if you are in better physical shape than me, I recommend channeling your frustrations into something positive by setting some personal records in the weight room. Just stay away from that malevolent rowing machine until maintenance comes around.
8. Ask your parents for pictures of your dog
We all have one person in our life who we know won’t judge us for our failures, no matter what. For me, that person is my dog Skittles. He is kind and gentle, and he is very sympathetic towards academic setbacks. Whenever I am down, I ask my mom for a picture of Skittles, and I remember that even the best dogs and humans face setbacks.
9. Take a hike
The weather is consistently nice again, the sun stays out until six, and soon we might even be lucky enough to see leaves. It is almost hiking season again, and that is fortunate because there is nothing better than a little clean air to clear your head and make you say, “what 2.13 GPA?”
10. Whatever you need
At the end of the day, college can be tough. No matter who you are, I guarantee you that there’s been at least one test or paper that didn’t turn out the way you wanted. But part of college is accepting that this will happen and figuring out how to get past it. So find whatever method works for you, get back on the saddle and do better next time. That’s really all there is to it.