When I received my Grade Point Average (GPA) for my first semester back in university years ago, I was very disappointed and downhearted because it was only a borderline pass. Everyone’s advice for Uni students is to get a GPA as high as possible for the first year because the modules in the first year are usually the easiest.
This tip is followed by the grim note that it is not as easy to pull up your GPA if you don’t score well at the start.
I started to have doubts about whether I was competent enough to be in university and wondered why, in contrast, all my friends seem to find the scientific concepts easier to understand. The periodic tests were supposed to help students get higher grades because they were meant to be relatively more doable than the finals and both the periodic tests and the finals would contribute to the final grade.
However, I dreaded every test because it seemed to reaffirm my doubts about how little I had known about the module I was studying.
In my despondence, I turned to my Bible for encouragement. And while reading God’s word, I chanced upon this verse: “That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10
This was more than a verse. It was also my lifeline.
It raised my fighting spirit and spoke resilience in me. I changed how I studied, devoted more time to doing practice questions and asked my smarter friends how they internalised difficult concepts.
Something I would like to share with you, my reader, is to not be afraid in asking people to explain difficult concepts or ideas in layman terms because as it turned out, they would also learn things they didn’t know when I asked very basic questions.
I subsequently spent the remaining 3 and a half years of Uni trying to pull up my GPA and thankfully, I managed to do better. Now when I look back at my results for each semester, I see someone who wouldn’t give up trying to do well in some of the toughest modules of my course and my God who blessed me with good, patient friends who were also generous with their time.
All praise be to God!