How to Get Past Academic Discouragement in Difficult Classes


High School’s Toughest Obstacle: Difficult Classes

Being in a class that you do not particularly enjoy due to its difficulty can be one of the toughest obstacles in one’s academic career, especially in high school. It can cause students to become discouraged and it can cause them to feel incapable of doing well in the class in comparison to other students who are excelling.

If a student feels inferior in a particular class, it can negatively impact their motivation to do well and can decrease their academic performance overall. When people feel as if they cannot help themselves, it is easier to give up instead of pushing harder. But trust me, we’ve all been through this obstacle, and there are always ways around it.

Getting Through the Mental Stress of Difficult Classes: Keeping the Right Mindset

If you truly want to succeed in the classes that you are struggling with, keeping a positive mindset is essential. This might be the hardest thing to achieve, especially when you are consistently receiving bad scores on several assignments and tests. However, keeping yourself optimistic and reminding yourself that there are ways to improve will doubtlessly help you move toward a better performance in that class. Every time you receive a score that you are not happy with, indulge yourself in disappointment for a few minutes if that’s what you have to do, and then tell yourself that you will try harder next time.

Remind yourself that there is always room for improvement and that this is just another minor setback. Tell yourself that a few mistakes won’t hurt you too much in the long run. After all, making mistakes is a vital part of the learning process. You should also remind yourself that even if you don’t accomplish everything that you want to in school, it does not define your intelligence or your ability to complete certain tasks.

Just because you received a  C- on your English essay, doesn't mean you're a complete failure who is incapable of writing proper papers. It simply means that you’re having trouble learning a certain subject. This is completely normal; everyone has their strengths and everyone has their weaknesses. Keeping these sorts of things in mind while you’re struggling in a difficult class will not only diminish your discouragement, but it will also improve your overall mental state, thus, making it easier for you to complete your work efficiently with less stress.

Getting Through the Academic Roadblock in Difficult Classes: What am I Doing Wrong?

Most of the time, students cannot succeed in a class that they are struggling with because they do not have a complete understanding of what they are doing wrong and what they need to do to improve. As such, one of the most important things you should do is obtain a comprehensive understanding of your current progress.

Look at the scores that you have received on all of your previous tests and assignments. Where do you find yourself failing the most? What kinds of skills are you well at and what skills do you need help with? Do you succeed in certain types of tasks and fail in others? If you’re having difficulty answering these questions and evaluating your own academic performance, it would be in your best interest to have a personal conversation with your teacher or professor.

Since they are essentially the people that determine your scores and your overall grade, they might have a clearer understanding of your academic abilities. Ask them what they think your greatest struggles are and how you can improve your performance in those particular areas. This kind of information is doubtlessly beneficial to your performance in a difficult class, and it will reassure that you have the ability to do better and succeed.

Getting Through the Work in Difficult Classes: Work Hard, Play Hard

In the end, one of the only ways that you can truly get past discouragement and feelings of defeat as a result of a difficult class is to put in as much effort into your work as you possibly can. Now that you are aware of your strengths as well as your weaknesses in a particular subject, you are now able to apply this information to your performance. Do your best to focus on the areas that need improvement, while still maintaining your performance in areas that you excel in.

Set small goals for yourself and dedicate yourself to reaching these goals. Maybe you received a C+ on your last Calculus test; tell yourself that you’ll push yourself harder on the next test and receive at least a B-. Reaching these kinds of goals might require much more time and effort than some of your other classes might. So put in that extra hour of studying, and pay extra close attention in class when you’re being taught the things that you have trouble with. It may be tiring and stressful, but it will doubtlessly help improve your performance in a difficult class. Hard work will always pay off.