How to cope with that failing grade…

I studied so much for this one class. Every waking moment, I was reading the textbook. I wrote down so many notes, and I even rewrote every single example problem. I made sure I understood the material on quizzes. When the first exam came around, my friends who hadn’t studied until last minute were positive they failed. I felt pretty alright about the exam. I really thought I’d at least pass. But I failed! And the worse felling is my friends who studied far less than me did much better.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced this, whether you just thought about a test you took this semester or one back in high school. It just seems to feel worse in college because we don’t have many exams to keep our grades high. To be honest, I cried. I convinced myself I had to retake the class, and I went so far as to adding it to the list of classes to take over the summer.

But now I feel a lot better, even with a failing grade making itself comfortable in the class gradebook. Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in my situation:

  1. Accept what happened. Embrace that humility. You failed. Your grade is even below the average. You studied for a long time, and it did not help you at all. The test is over and there’s nothing you can do to change your grade on the exam. More importantly, accept the fact that its one exam. Accept the fact that there’s still time to make up it, whether that be the next exam or retaking the class. Accept the fact that it is not the end of the world.
  2. Talk to friends. It’s hard to talk about failure, but talking to your friends can benefit you. First, you get your emotions out. If you cry, you’re not alone. Also, friends will give you advice and resources; they may have not provided that help before because the failing grade was unexpected. Friends who had taken the class can help you adjust your study habits and provide materials.  Some friends may be able to tutor you or find you a tutor. You’d be surprised of the connections your friends have. No one is going to judge you, especially not your own friends.
  3. Adjust your study habits. Although a certain study method may be the best in most of your classes, it may not work for the class you just failed your test in. Always make room for adjustment and learn to work out of your norm. Listen especially to those who had already taken the class and know how to study for it. I believe the best thing to do is study the way your successful classmates have and then do a bit of your own method given time.
  4. Be confident. DO NOT beat yourself up over one exam grade. I know a failing grade may hurt you. You’ll be nervous for other exams. You won’t even want to look at the material from that same class. However, this lack of confidence will just hinder you.
  5. Treat yourself. College is hard. There’s nothing wrong with putting the books aside for a day (as long as no assignment is due the next day of course) and getting some rest or going out. If you’re too stressed and upset, you won’t effectively study and you’ll take away from your college experience!

Best of luck for the rest of the semester. You can do it!