How My Hardest Semester Taught Me the Most

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Published on December 11, 2018

I had just completed my first two semesters at HCC with perfect grades, and a 4.0 GPA, so I decided it was time for a challenge. I was taking four classes each semester, so I thought one more class couldn’t hurt. I signed up for five classes during my third semester, which I didn’t think would be a problem, until I made the genius move of taking all of my hardest classes at once.

Biology, College Algebra, Public Speaking- no big deal, it’ll just be like every other semester, right? Wrong!  

After the second day of classes, I had met all of my teachers, who explained their rigorous course outlines and projects for the semester. I think I cried on the way home.

I remember thinking to myself how hard it was going to be to get straight As again, and every time I thought about it, I would freak out.

As the semester dragged on, I began to realize that getting perfect grades is not what college is about. It took me a while to accept this, as I am a struggling perfectionist, but once I did, I stopped being too critical of my self-worth, and college became more interesting.

Stop stressing over perfection, and enjoy life’s little moments. Photo by Sydney Rae. Courtesy of

Even though I knew that getting straight As again was not realistic, it didn’t mean I decided to give up. This semester, I worked harder, studied more, and even visited the tutoring center, when I was feeling lost in math.

Even though taking five classes was a nightmare, and I felt like I could barely keep up with the workload, I (somehow) managed to get it done. I found out the hard way that I never want to take more than four classes at a time, but, I learned to not stress out so much about grades, and to take things one day at a time. I may not get perfect grades this semester, but I take pride in knowing that I’ve worked hard, and my efforts will pay off.