18 days ago

Grades Dropping Unintentionally from Mental Health | How to Fix?

Hey everyone!

Right now I am currently a junior in high school and I’ve noticed my grades are starting to drop from straight A’s to now B and B’s. I don’t understand why this is happening because my study habits are exactly the same (I could even considered have improved). I have developed some minor depression and anxiety from family issues (that will not be resolved anytime soon), so could my performance be affected by this? If I maintain the minimum of B’s in all my classes and continue all my regular extracurriculars, would this hurt my chances of being admitted to highly prestigious schools (such as Ivy League)? How do you all think I should fix this unintentional dropping of grades?

Thank you

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
16 days ago

It sucks when your grades go down junior year! I'm currently a senior and it hit me starting last year as well-- though mostly in my STEM classes. Dropping grades in nearly always unintentional, so you should start looking into what factors have changed going into this year. I think you (and everyone else) should lower your expectations for prestigious schools-- they are always reaches, one 'B' in a hard class might not hurt too much, considering the already low acceptance rates, but when you get too many of them is when it will hurt you.

On mental health, a few 'quick' fixes are:

Daily exercise can help with anxiety (doesn't have to be high intensity; just get your heart rate up a bit).

Organize your life/create structure (unpredictability can increase anxiety) Set aside a schedule, with built in 'brain breaks' so you don't get overwhelmed.

Therapy can help, but if you can't get to a therapist there may be some mental health hotlines and online resources to help (look into executive dysfunction and anxiety and also try meditation -- I find guided meditation annoying, so

Physical health affects mental health-- if you have family issues that cannot be resolved, try to make sure your getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet ect.

(If you live up north, lack of sun may lead to seasonal depression -- vitamin D, Zinc, iron, ect and hormonal issues can contribute to anxiety and depression so getting bloodwork done could help)

School wise:

It's possible your study habits might not be good enough-- it happens to many 'gifted' students during high school. Find out what you're currently using and see if you can improve

When I study 'properly' for classes, I use a mix of Quizlet for vocabulary, Quizzes for review (its fun!), concept maps for history and science, actively listening (notes, following along with problems ect) to AP classrooms/crash-course and other teacher made resources for math (and everything else). Also especially for STEM courses, I have found going to my teacher's study periods either during or after school to be incredibly helpful. I am also a big fan of textbooks/reading, but only with purpose-- annotate or take notes if you are reading so you can go over them at a later point. For writing (english, history or foreign languages) practice makes better, but peer review helps.

Good luck in your classes-- and while those top private/ Ivy schools may be your dream (understandably so) expand your horizon so you can find target/safety schools you love as well!

17 days ago

A few things to consider:

1. It's okay to have less than perfect grades. I know it is really disappointing watching your grades slip, but when you get a grade you don't like, don't beat yourself up over it (when I got my first B, I consoled myself with Twilight, popcorn, and M&Ms).

2. Look into therapy services (if you haven't already). My Dad is a therapist. Many of his patients earn better grades once they start attending therapy regularly.

3. Your classes are probably getting harder, and with the harder classes, it might be harder to continue getting as high of grades as you might like.

4. Don't give up on your study habits. Even if they don't seem to be working, they will help.

5. Go to tutorials. I know I am a bit embarrassed when I have to go to tutorials, but my grades improve and I earn more respect from my teachers (so they are more willing to help my grade).

6.) If you're religious, pray for help with your academic and emotional struggles. I know that as I have come to rely on God, He has helped me with my mental/emotional struggles and in my academic endeavors.

Good luck!!!

16 days ago[edited]

Hi there @tmcmullen,

@Texas_Student gave some really good insight here! I'd also recommend our articles on productivity at home and study tips. However, I will say that declining grades do happen and that being kind to yourself and focusing on what you need in the moment is also very important in high school! You will end up where you need to be and will definitely carve a place out for yourself in higher education regardless if that's your goal. Also, I think just reaching out like this and having the drive to even want to improve is the first step to growth and key in your academic development, so kudos to you for that as well! Hope this helps :)


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