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Arma-Grade-On: How to Survive the End of the Academic Quarter

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My first quarter at Stanford was exciting and joy-filled (after NSO). But, as it came to an end, I found the quarter was not wrapping up as gracefully as a bow on top of a present. I did not have any in-person finals, but rather, essays upon essays. Part of me loved that, as I despised having the clock staring down at me, but the other part of me knew that without the direct threat of time, I was going to leave it until the last minute. Of course, I finished the essays. I mean, I always do, but not without completely stressing myself out beforehand. 

Getting my grades back was another thing. In high school, I was definitely not the absolute smartest person in my grade, but I was used to receiving praise and getting good grades. Now, not to say I do not receive those things, but they do not come as naturally as they once did. Let’s just say that I was humbled. 

Receiving Bs when you are used to As is not bad, and let me emphasize that Bs are good grades! But, to pre-medicated, incredibly anxious, perfectionist, frosh, Chavi, it felt quite literally like the end of the world. 

So what? To all the frosh taking their first finals and ending their first quarter, I am asking you to simply pause and breathe. It will be over soon- even if it feels like it's taking forever. Especially for all my fellow FLI students, allow yourself extra empathy; many of us did not have strenuous academic resources throughout our lives. Ultimately, understand that you are not the first person to get a bad grade, nor will you be the last. There is more to life than grades, even if we all love to brag about Stanford. My experience is not yours, but remember that the person who is writing essays and doing math psets now is still the person who wrote your initial Stanford application. Show yourself the same appreciation as you did when you received your acceptance and when you received a grade you were proud of; that person is still you regardless of a score on another test. 

I do not think we give ourselves enough credit for completing tasks, especially ones as monumental as getting into Stanford, let alone finishing a quarter. So, if you’re reading this, please give yourself a pat on the back. I know I needed it.

Written by: Chavi Coy, Class of 2025

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Resources

Stanford Resources

  • A resource that changed my life: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS offers individual visits, skills workshops, process groups, psychiatry services, community referral resources, 24/7 support, and crisis intervention. Get support today!
  • FREE Therapy- TimelyCare! A virtual medical and mental health care service that is available to any enrolled student at no cost 24/7, 365 days/year. To access care, log in to timelycare.com/stanford or download the TimelyCare app.
  • Well-Being Coaching: A Well-Being coach can help you cultivate the internal and external resources to live a healthy, vibrant life, manage stress, talk out self-destructive tendencies, shift your beliefs and behaviors,  build resilience, and form meaningful connections with others. Book a session today.
  • Still feeling like you need an extra boost academically? Maybe with study habits? Try Academic Coaching! Offered through the Center for Teaching and Learning, an Academic Coach can help you tackle common challenges, such as exam preparation and anxiety, writing essays, time management, and more! Schedule an academic coaching appointment today!