Student Stories

My First 70 Days in USA – Screwed up Midterms GPA

Following Student Life in USA experience is shared by Santhosh. This is a good example of what happens if you  feel overwhelmed by life in USA.


I had been following ever since I thought Masters and I’m here today doing my masters at UCI. It’s almost 70 days since I came to UCI. First few days everything was exciting and I got used to that.

When classed began, it was hard to keep up with the class as some courses which I planned to take were not offered in the last moment.

I had to take up some for course requirements. Now it seems better and going good.

First I got a campus job at catering center, I screwed up my midterms and so finally have quit the job.

The only thing which it was useful was for getting SSN. Used your tips on credit cards and now have applied for secured card.

I am back on track and classes so going good.

There was career fair which seemed new and different and they have started recruiting for Summer Internships.

I have attached my resume here can you evaluate that and point where I should improve.

It would be very helpful as you are here for many years and would have come across different recruiters and their expectations. As this would be very helpful for me as i am planning to apply to internships.


Santosh, I will work your resume later today. Good to see you are on track. Sometimes, you have to quit part-time jobs, when it’s affecting your academic performance.

For some students, its impossible to quit the job due to their financial situation. They end up living with under lot of stress.

One of the things you will learn while in USA is when to quit. It’s an important skill to posses. Something ar not right for you, but if you know when to quit, you can limit your losses.

What you can learn when to quit from everyday experience and encounters. You might be missing the income from pert time job, but good academic performance will help you in long run.

Another skill that you will learn due course of time – How to Quit.

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  1. Yes! It’s true. It’s very important to learn when to quit a job and USA is one of the best things which makes you to learn this specified skills. Doing a part time job while studying is essential in USA to bear your expenses, but it should not outthrow your academic performance. When your job is affecting your academic performance; it’s better to quit.

  2. I completely agree with the line which says “One of the things you will learn while in USA is when to quit.”
    I am currently pursuing my MS in ECE from Carnegie Mellon University. I took 3 courses in this semester (Fall 2011 – my first semester). 2 of these were heavy like any other course but dealt with labs, assignments, exams etc. to grade a student. The third course too is heavy (Computer Architecture) but unlike the other two, is a research course which required us to improve upon current standards to achieve better performance. I could not cope up with the course and will now have to drop it. It will end up giving me a ‘w’ grade on transcript (stands for Withdraw). But I the good thing is it will not effect my GPA. Since the other two courses are going pretty good for me, I was able to settle down with the fact that I am quitting something that I took up out of choice. But I really learnt when to quit. I learnt there are certain limitations that every one has and understanding them early will help.

    Hope none of you will ever face this situation. ALL THE BEST to all you at HSB.

  3. hi HSB and the many many students who read this brilliant site,
    when i was in India, i took studies for granted. But here i cant.
    i realized that after coming to CMU.
    i too had a very rough start and im struggling to get myself on track. ( i chose a course
    which i thought i was good at/was interested in… acted against me )
    so i had to drop the course after the course drop deadline and take a substitute
    and work twice as hard.
    THE point im trying to make here is that graduate life is not easy and time management is the most important thing. you have too many things on your plate and it becomes grueling.
    At the same time it is nice to push your limits beyond boundaries and test your selves in conditions which were easier in your home country.
    i did refer to HSB and sharing experiences has helped ME understand and be prepared.
    working towards a goal is definitely tough but then achieving something in the end is totally worth it 🙂 🙂

    1. came across the post about fairleigh dickinson university in NewJersy.
      i’m planning to enroll for a masters program at the same university in the VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – CANADA.
      can anyone plzz tell me that is it a gud univ. just confused about it .
      can anyone plzzz help me out.

      1. UBC is one of the best universities in Canada, Preet. If you’re set on Canada and get admitted to UBC, you needn’t worry. Check out QS rankings if you need more reassurance.

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