Q:what's the worst grade you ever got in school? what happened?
I failed a handful of courses in my first year of engineering (and in the first time through the second year) with marks in the mid to late 40 percents.
The issue for me was that I had come from a high school with a number of intelligent students, of which I was near the top of the pile. I didn’t need to study a whole lot to get great marks.
The entrance average for my year in engineering at the University of Toronto was 92%. Everyone was in the same position as myself. They were all the best and brightest. I hadn’t really realized of just how little use my usual studying habits were going to be. I understood the material fairly well, but I soon found that engineering professors are sick and twisted individuals, extrapolating the most complex exam questions possible from material that did not seem like it could produce quite so much difficulty.
I failed a few courses and had to retake some. After first semester of second year, I was suspended for 8 months on academic probation. It was a stressful time for me. Money was running short and for reasons I will not go into I could not move back home. Near the beginning of retaking second year, I sought psychiatric help for what I thought was depression. As it turned out, it was simply a natural reaction to stress, borne from the nasty cycle I had gotten myself into with respect to getting work done (or not, as the case may be). It was at this time I was diagnosed with ADHD, began a course of treatment that involved both counselling, medication and some special considerations for taking exams.
From nearly failing out completely, I brought up my GPA up by quite a bit, and was later admitted to graduate school. I feel a legitimately-warranted flush of pride every time I remember that.
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