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an instructor's guide to not tanking your grades


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#21 Eisa

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:15 AM

I wish I had seen this 4 years ago. My grades would have been significantly better, my numerous meltdowns much better handled... although I did manage to get my BA...in psych, amusingly enough. Whenever I go on to graduate school, though..I'm printing a copy out and taping it on my wall so I can't lose it.


I know what you mean! My BA is also in psych. :P I wish that I had actually gone to the disability office and gotten accommodations. I didn't want to because I felt like doing that was admitting I was a failure...and that's not the case at all.

"Neither the angels in heaven above, nor the demons down under the sea, can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee."
Mad with: DID, PTSD, social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, atypical anorexia, autism, depression



#22 happyheart19

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:48 AM

If you have to go to the hospital... GO!
I really put off going to the hospital multiple times when it would have been healthier for me to go. I caused my roommate a lot of stress and worried my parents unnecessarily and also did myself a disservice by not going.

I'm not saying go to the hospital every time you think of suicide, but if you're honestly thinking about ending your life and are serious about it/cannot function in school - think of yourself first. You can always get an incomplete if necessary. Your health is the most important thing.

ALSO! Don't pull all nighters, unless you HAVE to. They really seem to fuck things up.
Dx: Bipolar I (p-doc says, I believe it's more of a II) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Rx: Risperidone, Topamax, Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Beyaz, Ativan PRN
Past Rx: Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon, Zoloft, Ambien, Klonopin, Lithium, Abilify, Trazodone, Effexor XR, Pristiq, Lexapro, Fluoxetine

#23 radicalfeminist

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    sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning & you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you've felt that way

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:55 AM

This is a great and very important topic. I reached out to the access center for disabilities for the first time ever in my education history this past month, and it makes me very anxious/nervous, but it also feels good that there are people "on my side" who know my diagnoses and want to help make things a little simpler for me. I just applied for exam accommodations (I had to schedule them online). So far so good. I keep worrying that I did something wrong or I suddenly won't qualify, but I know this anxiety I'm feeling now is a lot better than just letting everything crash down on me so I burn out and drop out permanently like I have done in the past. 


Psych DX: MDD, dysthymia, OCD, GAD, SA, panic disorder, EDNOS.

Meds: Wellbutrin 450 mg, Zoloft 200mg, Quetiapine XR 150mg.


#24 WinglessFaery

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

Okay so what if ive already failed AND withdrawn in the first year due too MI? Ive heard people say that with proper medical records you can get that off your records? Does retaking the class you failed help?

just like how badly is this gonna effect me if I want too go too grad school or something?
Dx BP I Rapid Cycling, GAD, Social Phobia, Panic Disorder,PCOS

Rx lamictal 300 mg, Busprone 60 mg, Lithium 1000 mg, Vistaril 50 mg ( which doesnt do squat),Metformin 2000 mg

Previous Rx zoloft, prozac, lexapro,seraquel, depakote, xannax, ambien, trazadone, abilify, cymbalta

<p>[color=#40e0d0]Mental Illness is a flaw in chemistry not character.[/color

#25 radicalfeminist

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    sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning & you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you've felt that way

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:11 PM

WinglessFaery, I think the amount of leverage varies from school to school. The most important thing is that while you flunked out/withdrew from school that you were consistently treated by a medical professional (preferably the same one). Retaking the failed classes would be helpful, at my university, they knock the failed class off your transcript and replace it with your new passing grade when you do it over. Unfortunately, you have to pay for it again, but if your GPA desperately needs it then it might be your only option. I know that some undergrad and grad programs have a section on their application that asks for a written explanation for low marks or inconsistencies in your academic record. If you provide the relevant medical documentation to support this letter, they take your reasons into account while evaluating you for admission.


Edited by radicalfeminist, 04 February 2013 - 09:11 PM.

Psych DX: MDD, dysthymia, OCD, GAD, SA, panic disorder, EDNOS.

Meds: Wellbutrin 450 mg, Zoloft 200mg, Quetiapine XR 150mg.


#26 amy5000

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:55 PM

Okay so what if ive already failed AND withdrawn in the first year due too MI? Ive heard people say that with proper medical records you can get that off your records? Does retaking the class you failed help?

just like how badly is this gonna effect me if I want too go too grad school or something?

It may depend on how long ago that was, I think, but I have a story. In the spring of 2012 I was really depressed and I failed all five of my classes because I just stopped going. I have felt all sad and sorry for myself about ruining my academic career and didn't think I had a chance of redeeming myself, but just about two weeks ago my therapist made me write a letter to the school explaining my circumstances. Miraculously, just a couple of days ago I get a response from the academic board saying they have honored my request and changed all of my Fs into Ws, and they did. It could be worth it to try and get some leverage with your grades there, using your mental illness. Now I'm so excited about going back to school. 

 

edited to make more sense


Edited by amy5000, 04 February 2013 - 10:56 PM.

dx: bipolar 2, gad, "mixed personality disorder" blah blah

meds: trileptal 300mg, viibryd 20mg, gabapentin 300mg PRN, clonazepam .5mg PRN


#27 WinglessFaery

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

Okay thanks you guys! I feel a bit better about it noow!
Dx BP I Rapid Cycling, GAD, Social Phobia, Panic Disorder,PCOS

Rx lamictal 300 mg, Busprone 60 mg, Lithium 1000 mg, Vistaril 50 mg ( which doesnt do squat),Metformin 2000 mg

Previous Rx zoloft, prozac, lexapro,seraquel, depakote, xannax, ambien, trazadone, abilify, cymbalta

<p>[color=#40e0d0]Mental Illness is a flaw in chemistry not character.[/color

#28 LikeMinded

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:47 AM

I got involved with the disabilities office my junior year in college (this was in 2003; please quit playing pranks on my lawn silly kids :smartass:).

 

I was given a proper diagnosis of MDD with suicidal features and referred to a hometown tdoc for counseling and got a recommendation sent to my GP that I start on SSRIs.

 

That was the year my life rocketed into outer space, for better or worse.  Had it not been for the intervention that my university helped me initiate, my life would have rocketed in the exact opposite direction and my parents would be mourning the loss of their only child.

 

And no, at the time, I didn't tank my grades, partially due to following similar regulations to what resonance had posted.  The lowest grade I ever got was a B (thank God we had no +/- system; it'd surely have been a minus!) in calculus-based electric/magnetic physics.  Which is a useless subject anyways in health information technology, which I am now in my third year of PhD studies for.

 

Meanwhile, as I sit here doing my PhD studies, I am wondering if I should "come out" with the fact I have AD/HD.  I got through my MS with a high GPA and not telling anybody I had AD/HD with latent depression.  Heck, I got all of my GPAs (or lack thereof) with no accommodations at all, no matter how stupid that may have been.  However, telling my advisor that I have AD/HD would probably boost my grades (or at least give me extra time on future exams).  Not that I believe in exams at the PhD level of study.  I never had any timed exams during my Master's program and only have had them in one course during my PhD course of study (and the validity of said exams has been debated by fellow students, but that's another subject for another rant).


CAUTION: I'm a graduate computational medicine/allied health information student, and NOT a licensed clinician of any sort in any part of the world.  I can come up with lots of algorithms, generalities, and statistics but cannot provide specific medical advice for you!  You, along with your healthcare provider/pdoc/tdoc/etc. are the best decision makers for what is best!

 

Me: MDD, AD/HD, Asperger's/HFA/PDD-NOS/WTF, REM behavioral disorder/misc. sleep issues, some variant of PTSD... toss in hypothyroidism, post-meningitis-related Parkinson's disease/tremor, early stage pulmonary hypertension from a connective tissue disorder that wants me dead before age 60, and a few misc. manly hormone issues, and you'll get a few insights on where that PTSD came from.

 

Now on: Cymbalta, mirtazapine, oxybutynin, clonazepam, lamotrigine, clonidine, levothyroxine, metformin, Testim.  As Velvet Elvis implied, I sound like a freakin' maraca salesman when I go through airport security.


#29 kit_kat

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 02:05 AM

If worse comes to worst- know how to read your profs....

 

I have made the Deans List every semester (even after missing a month of class) just by gearing my papers to what I know my Profs want to hear.

 

It pays to get to know what your Prof's values are... (At least in a Humanities degree).

 

Also- Talk to your Profs PREEMPTIVELY.... They get TONS of students with disability accommodations (especially if you are at a big University) so sometimes sitting down with a Prof during office hours in the first couple of weeks and separating yourself from the pack by showing you are invested in the course but have some struggles/concerns can definitely get them to be more open to extensions down the line if needed.


"I am too many flavours for one fucking spoon" -Staceyann Chin

 

Dx: PTSD, Bipolar 2, Ednos

Diabetic, Fibromyalgia

 

Rx: Zoplicone, Wellbutrin, Seroquel, Topamax, Amitriptaline

Apidra, Lantis, Victoza, metformin, and Enalapril

 

Previous Rx: It would be easier to list what I haven't tried....

 

***Currently ruling out Bipolar 2 and considering possibility of ADHD and OCD***


#30 Unstrung Harp

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:17 AM

If worse comes to worst- know how to read your profs....

 

I have made the Deans List every semester (even after missing a month of class) just by gearing my papers to what I know my Profs want to hear.

 

It pays to get to know what your Prof's values are... (At least in a Humanities degree).

 

Also- Talk to your Profs PREEMPTIVELY.... They get TONS of students with disability accommodations (especially if you are at a big University) so sometimes sitting down with a Prof during office hours in the first couple of weeks and separating yourself from the pack by showing you are invested in the course but have some struggles/concerns can definitely get them to be more open to extensions down the line if needed.

I agree with you on the preemptive part. The other parts honestly sound manipulative and cynical. Though there are certainly professors who love hearing themselves talk and who wish to be echoed by their students in order to reinforce their own sense of brilliance, most professors I know, and I include myself in this, want evidence that a student is thinking and evolving. What we "want to hear" is that you are engaged with the material, have critical thinking skills, the ability to write like an educated person, and original thoughts that you can express well. So yay for you for getting on Dean's List through what you describe as gamesmanship rather than actually being engaged with the process of learning. And for reinforcing the impression many professors have that those who ask for extensions or extra help because they are actually, seriously struggling are doing it to be manipulative and self-serving. The fact that you are saying this in a forum where many smart, capable people are too frightened and ashamed to ask for help or understanding from instructors, and the fact that you are advocating people "separating [themselves] from the pack" of the other students with (presumably real, actual) disabilities so that they can work the system to their advantage ---well that's just sad. Sorry --- I know you're new here, and you probably meant well with this post ---but it really rubbed me the wrong way.


DX: Atypical major depression, GAD, panic, social anxiety, migraines
RX: Brintellix (15 mg); buspirone (45mg); adderall xr (20mg); clonazepam (.5 mg PRN); alprazolam (.5 mg PRN)


#31 Cadenza

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 03:59 AM

I need to tape this on my wall or something. This past month, I filed for a medical withdrawal. Of course I am glad that I saw myself slipping and decided to take action before it was too late; however, I wish I took more preventative action prior to such a need for a withdrawal. Thank you for the information!


Given disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar I
Past medications: Neurontin, Zoloft, Trileptol
Current psychiatric medications: Abilify (11 mg.), Lamictal (125 mg.), Buspar (45 mg.), Wellbutrin (300 mg.) 



 






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