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How to Help a Friend Who's Dealing with a Failing Grade

Sometimes, your best just isn't enough.
IMAGE Universal Pictures ART Clare Magno

There's nothing more heartbreaking in a student's life than getting a failing mark for your final grade, especially because you've worked hard on the subject and invested blood, sweat, and tears just to show your prof that you're trying your best. But sometimes, even our best isn't enough.

Instances like that can't be avoided and sometimes, it's your best friend or one of your friends who got themselves a failing grade. Whatever the case is, you know that as a friend you have to help her get through this bad time. If you're having a hard time helping her deal with her grades, we found something that might help you.

  1. Never tell them it's their fault.

Telling them that they're irresponsible that's why they got that grade won't help and might only make matters worse. Instead of saying things that will dishearten them, trying to know where they're actually coming from. Mabel advises, "Do not blame them, sometimes it's not their fault. It's not like some of them deliberately wanted to fail. Educate them about time management and study habits...Encourage rather than discourage them."

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  1. Remind them that it's not too late for them to change things.

When you fail at something, most often than not, you'll feel like it's the end of the world for you and there's no more chance at turning things around—which isn't true at all. "Remember that you are capable of changing," says family and child therapist Bunny Ty. "If you look at it that way, then you know you have control over it and you can do something about it." Help them realize that they can still improve and that they still have a second chance.

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  1. Offer some help

Being friends doesn't only mean that you'll go through good times together. It also means that, whether you like it or not, you're accountable for your friend. Offer her some help by lending her your notes or the hacks you know for a particular subject. Bunny recommends that you "show more empathy towards their peers if schools create programs that encourage them to work together, like a study buddy of some sort."

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And whatever happens, be there beside them. Sometimes, they just need a breather or someone who'll listen to what they have to say instead of someone who has a lot to say. Know when your friend needs you to speak up and when she needs you to just be there for her.

Interview by Mabel David, originally used for Candy's October 2000 article "I Flunked School."

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About the author
Ayessa De La Peña
Candymag.com Assistant Section Editor
I am Candymag.com's resident fangirl and ~*feelings*~ girl. When I'm not busy researching about what to write next on the website, I sleep, read books, and re-watch episodes of Friends.
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PRIMO.

First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis Just now

If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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