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Accepting Failures: How Not to Cry Over Low Grades and Failed Courses

Written by CB Community

For some, bad grades and failed exams in college are unavoidable. No matter how hard you study, how detailed you are about your notes and classes, there may be something during college you just don’t understand.

College students, especially those who are particularly ambitious, can have a hard time accepting failure, low grades or failed courses. This however, should not be taken lightly, as the majority of these students tend to develop depression, anxiety, or eating disorders. You may read and hear about all the amazing things you can expect at college, but preparing yourself for failure is just as important. If you’re nervous about writing at a college level, you can read college research paper examples to better prepare yourself.

This article will help college students accept failure as a part of life, and move on from it.

Bad grades and failed exams don’t stand for failure

The first step you should take after receiving a bad grade on a project or failing an exam is to come to terms with that means for your education and career. Bad grades and failed exams are just a part of the numerous ups and downs of the college experience. The best thing you can do is to accept these situations, and move on from them.

Bad grades and failed exams don’t mean that you’ll never graduate or have a successful career. On the contrary, these can serve as motivation for you to work harder and better in the future. Even Albert Einstein failed few classes in high school, one of them being Math, and then went on to become the most important physicist of the 20th century.

If you want to succeed in your education and career, you must accept bad grades and failed exams as part of life. These experiences must be used as motivation to do better, and not looked at as a sign of failure at all. These things are temporary and can be fixed, all you have to do is work hard no matter what.

Greater expectations hurt more

College students tend to be under an immense amount of pressure, and set unrealistic expectations for themselves. Because of this, when one gets a bad grade or fails an exam, it hurts them much more because they were expecting unattainable results. Students must be aware of their capabilities, and set their sights accordingly.

According to InChemistry, it is essential to differentiate between a failed effort, and one that does not meet your standards. You can look at a low grade as proof that you’ve been challenged in a subject matter or a class, which is a good thing. This means that you’ll have the motivation to work harder and conquer the material you didn’t know. If good grades come easily to you, chances are you have never been truly challenged in your education, which might actually hinder your improvement and success in the long run. What you need to do is adjust your expectations and allow your grades to become the fuel that keeps you going and getting better.

Identifying weaknesses

One of the most important steps you can take after receiving a bad grade or a failed exam is to identify the events that led to such an outcome. It is essential to discern and evaluate your own mistakes before jumping to conclusions. This will enable you to come to terms with what has happened, and move on.

Your first step should be to identify the gaps in your knowledge. Schedule a meeting with your professor and ask them to explain the areas in the subject that you may have fallen behind in. This will give you an insight into the areas in which may require additional attention as you prepare for your next exam. If you received a bad grade, ask your professor to explain the reasoning, as this too will help you address the areas that need improvement.

The next step is to ‘take action.’ Once you receive the necessary feedback, you now have to work on improving your academic performance. This is necessary, as it will enable you to build a solid foundation for future learning.

Keep calm and move on

Another important thing you can do when dealing with bad grades and failed exams is to slow down, take a deep breath and keep calm. Stressing about past events that you cannot change is not productive, and will only cause harm to your mental health.

Take your mind off of college, grades, exams through activities that bring you comfort and peace. Once you have accepted the negative outcome, set appropriate goals and make an action plan to ensure better outcomes in the future. If you are faced with a similar problem in the future, make sure to follow these same steps, and learn from your mistakes.

For more awesome content related to all things college, check out the other blogs at College Basics.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.