When Failing Isn’t Failure

By now, you have probably heard from one of us asking about your fall semester/quarter grades. This may have brought up a lot of emotions about sharing your grades, so we really appreciate your willingness to work with us. Collecting your grades at the end of the semester/quarter helps us make sure that you’re on the right track to keep your financial aid if you have it, and also to help identify areas where you can use more support.

Because sharing grades is such a personal experience, we want to share some of our own experiences and lessons learned about “failure” in college:

Denise’s story:

“As a first-generation college student, there was a lot that I didn’t know about academic policies. One lesson that I had to learn the hard way was about taking a “W” in a class. At Santa Clara University, we were on the quarter system so things moved really quickly. I was going through a really hard break up and I fell really behind on my readings and I knew that I wasn’t going to have a huge paper done on time (it was worth something like 20% of my grade). I panicked and withdrew from the class, and at that point in the quarter it went on my transcript as a “W.” Later on the professor reached out to me and let me know that I could have asked for an extension and that she would have been flexible. I learned that it was okay to communicate with my professors and ask for extensions, and also that having a couple bad grades or a “W” wasn’t the end of the world.”

Katy’s story:

“When I was a freshman in college, I was going through a really tough time personally. I just had a death in my family and I was really struggling to focus academically and take care of myself. I was really nervous to share with anyone that I was struggling and may need some help with school. I felt ashamed that I could not keep it all together and do everything I wanted to do–but life happens and dealing with grief and personal matters is an expected part of life! Fortunately, one of my friends pushed me to reach out to one of my professors for help. Not only did my professor help me in her class, she spoke to all my other professors she knew. I was excused from a few lecture sessions for the week and was given extensions on my papers and assignments for the month. I can’t tell you how much that helped me. She also recommended I see a counselor on campus for free; therapy gave me a safe and private space to process what I needed to process. My professor reminded me that it is OKAY to ask for help; everyone needs help and she never expected me to “power through” when I was dealing with these personal matters. I wish I had asked for help sooner!” 


Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns! And if you haven’t already, please send us your grades/unofficial transcript! 

BTW Follow us on Instagram! We post updates, reminders, and share about life at KIPP!


Follow Denise @denise_ktc     Follow Katy @katyhallktc

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