I fully understand that class attendance is essential to academic success. The past semester, I missed two classes of Business Calculus (MTH 129) and English 200, and this resulted in my poor performance. The reasons for missing the classes was the past spring semester I was severely ill and hence could not attend my classes as well as to focus on any of my tests. Furthermore, I was also dealing with many family and personal issues. I was put on medication because I was clinically depressed. My sickness also caused me to be weak, have seizures and lost 30 lbs. I never thought my sickness would interrupt my studies completely. During last semester, I managed several days in the hospital and in between classes. A month into my homestay, I was not fully recovered yet but began to strive to catch up with my lessons. I was not that much severely affected by depression but had to deal with depressive symptoms at home. I had the time to read at home, attend doctor’s appointments and to work out. When I registered fir the units at the beginning of the semester, I had high ambitions of passing my exams at the end of the semester. I later understood that it is possible to leave in the middle of a semester when having illnesses associated with depression compounded with personal family issues.
My out of class study approach is so well planned, and I always follow it to the letter. First, I have a timetable where I go to the library to 2 hours in the evening to read or do some assignments. Moreover, I also do take notes during my class lectures and rewrite them in the school library or at home. During My home study, I use abbreviations also to summarize major points from what I have read. I also have study group meeting meetings in course of the day in between lessons, for example, every Tuesday and Thursday where we discuss and ask each other questions
To get answered to the questions which I had in every registered unit last semester, I participated in class and group discussions where I asked questions and also made my contributions. Similarly, I could consult my unit teachers after class or do my research at the school library or using internet sources.
Upon my last semester’s reflection and evaluation, the outside classroom factors that hindered my work and full academic engagement include mental health issues. As stated earlier, I was diagnosed with depression due to personal and family problems which made me lose focus on my studies. My father lost his job and he had no way of paying his loans, my school fees and my other siblings and also for our upkeep and for my grandparents It was a big family problem which also led to my depression and also my siblings. I could not imagine dropping out of school because of lack of school fees at the university level.
To be honest, I felt I was not generally prepared for most of the exams given that I missed some of my lessons and could not understand some concepts. Moreover, given that I had read some of the books, attended group discussions and consulted my teachers, some areas were still not clear to me because of the vast areas in every unit especially Business Calculus (MTH 129) and English 200.
I have reviewed my next semester’s course schedule and verified the number of hours which I am registered and they do not exceed the academic probation limit of 15.
To improve my GPA, I believe there is the benefit of retaking the courses which I performed poorly. I will seriously consider the units for Business Calculus (MTH 129) and English 200 to improve my grades and GPA.
I think if the proposed units are offered next semester, I will be glad if Dean Wilbers recommend that I join the classes as soon as possible instead of postponing them. Additionally, I will also be glad to continue with other units if there will no clashes in my class timetables and also if it does not exceed academic probation limit of 15 hours.
Have personal study time- I will draw a weekly study calendar and determine how much time I will have to myself and when I will have it. I will fill in my classes time, study time which will be mandatory, meals time and allowance time for my walking and for games/exercise, sleep, fun and personal time. This way, I will be able to measure a number of hours I spent studying and attending my classes.
Have consultation time with teachers and attending group discussions- I will join my class group discussions to brainstorm on some of the class or unit issues that I have a problem in understanding. Moreover, if I missed a concept, I will follow up with the teachers for a consultation or further explanation till I ensure that I fully understand it. This section will be measurable with the number of times I consulted my teachers and the number of time I attended group discussions.
Participate in class throughout the next semester- at the beginning of the term, I will read the syllabus given by the teachers. I will also regularly attend classes to ensure I hear the crucial lectures, take notes and understand the readings and given assignments. Moreover, in class, I will be taking notes by paying attention and lastly, I will ensure do and submit my assignments.