If you’re reading this, it may be that your grades are slipping. We’re sorry to hear that. College can be a rude academic awakening for some, and once you fall behind, it can be hard to catch up. But don’t worry, there’s hope! If you follow a few of these guidelines or consider them as pieces of advice, you might find some ways to pull yourself out of grade debt.

See Your Academic Advisor

You’ve been given an academic advisor for just this purpose: advice! Take advantage of their office hours and outline your whole set of problems to them. Odds are they can point you in the right direction for tutoring or tell you if you should lighten your class load. These people are teachers that have helped countless students through similar trials, so you shouldn’t think twice before making use of their experience.

Make a Study Plan

Sometimes in order to feel less overwhelmed, all you need to do is make a plan of attack. If you don’t know where to begin when you start studying, you probably aren’t focusing your efforts on all the right places. Figure out what classes need the most time, and prioritize them. By giving yourself a schedule you’re already facing the grade problem head on. The more focused attention you give to your studies, the more likely you are to get to the bottom of what your grade problems are.

Drop a Class

Sometimes you’re just doing too much. If the 21 credit hours you signed up for are getting overwhelming, drop a class. This is very, very normal in college, and you should take advantage of the fact that you have the freedom to be flexible with your schedule. It can be that in order to learn more, you have to take on a little less. Remember, you’re getting used to a whole new way of life in college. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new lifestyle. You might discover that you need to give more attention to your personal life in order to be healthy. Trust us, the classes will be there next semester.

Don’t Skip Classes

The classes you don’t drop? Go to them. Skipping class in college is so easy and so tempting because you don’t have your parents getting you up or a principal calling to see where you are. If a professor notices you haven’t been coming to class, they’ll just fail you. Or they’ll let you fail yourself when you show up for an exam you’re completely unprepared for. If you’ve wanted to go to Tufts University your entire life, don’t drop the ball once you get there due to laziness. Going to the classes you’ve chosen to take should be your top priority. Trust us, it’s way easier to ask for an extension on a paper or some extra help to bring your grades up from a professor that’s seen you attentively participating in every class.