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