Help—I Got My First F In College
Failing a class sucks. You're forced to repeat it for another term while all your other blockmates move forward in life, which drains any feelings of self-worth right out of you. Failures essentially make you feel like it’s the end of the world. You tried your best, you barely slept, missed a handful of meals, and opted out of some quality time with your family just to study and keep up with class requirements, and yet you were slapped with a big fat 'F' in the end. In hard times like these, here are some things you might have forgotten, but must always try to keep in mind:
Failing doesn’t reflect your overall capability in life.
When we get a failing mark, we’re often left with insecurities and anxieties about our own worth. Psychologytoday.com says that when we fail, we are less likely to perceive our skills as competent or enough, leaving us to swim in the misinformed notion that we are weaklings, incapable of doing anything right in the world. As dramatic as that might sound, it’s the illusion believed by many of us who have had their fair share of letdowns. Still, it’s essential to constantly remind ourselves that, while getting those Fs in exams is not good—it's also not a bad thing. It’s nice to always aim for the best, but it’s also important to know that the road to “best” is riddled with bumps and obstacles.
It’s fuel for us to do better the next time around.
A lot of people might overlook the fact that our failures can be a great source of inspiration and drive. We just need to tap and redirect that energy towards becoming better. When you fail a class, it is only natural to feel terrible and grieve over the fact that you slipped. But once you release your pent-up feelings about disappointing yourself, you’ll soon learn to look up and redirect your actions towards honing your skills or improving your habits. Don’t you feel so much more accomplished knowing that you finally succeeded in something you used to be bad at?
It’s going to suck, but you’ll be okay.
Not going to lie—failing a test, or maybe an entire subject, would probably rank high on the scale of the worst feelings in the world, maybe a couple of levels above seeing your favorite show get cancelled after just one season.
The feeling of failure seems much worse than getting your own heart broken, because it feels like it’s actually you who’s breaking the hearts of the people you love, i.e. your parents.
While the heartache is incomparable, it’s certainly not permanent. In college, you are given another chance to retake that class and get a better grade. Bouncing back will be a slow and gradual process. It might take you a couple more times to get back on track, but if you keep on trying, you’ll realize that your ‘F’ is not a Scarlet Letter branding that would eternally ruin your life, but a mere life lesson that helped you realize your true potential.