Failing your course year
Sometimes things don't work out as you'd hoped. If you've just been told you didn't make the grade, here's how to pick yourself up.
The worst news ever!
There could be lots of reasons why you didn't pass. What matters is that you're able to review the situation with a clear eye, and work out what went wrong. Just be aware that it isn't the end of your life as a student. You still have options, which is why it's so important that you understand how you found yourself in this situation.
Deal with your feelings first
- However you respond to the news is fine. Whether it's shock, denial, frustration or even anger, your emotions will be running high so it's important to let them out.
- In this situation, it's vital that you find a way to make sense of what you're going through. Just staying inside brooding isn't going to make you feel better. If anything, dwelling on the issue is only likely to make things seem much worse.
- Talking is often the most effective way of expressing yourself. You'll find just putting your words into feelings will help you to gain some perspective. Even if it's just a chance to vent, it'll clear your head so you can take stock of the choices you now face. So turn to friends, family, even your course tutor, and take that vital first step to moving on from what feels like a mess.
Only you can say what got in the way of a straight A pass. Here are some common stumbling blocks:
Overwhelmed by the workload
It's easy to feel swamped as a student. Chances are that at no other time have you been hit with so much work. In some ways, working out how to deal with the pressure is part of the learning process, so look upon what's happened as a turning point. Discuss the situation with your course tutor and work out what went wrong.
Get it right
In every case, planning is key to getting through the coursework, no matter how much there is to cover. Even if it means retaking the year, you'll find that by motivating yourself into maintaining a timetable your performance can only improve.
Too much time off
If you don't show up for lessons at school, you can expect a letter home at the very least. At university, it would be rude not to skip the odd lecture. But without someone around to kick your backside, it's tempting for this to become a habit, which is when things start to slip. Even if you're behind because issues in your personal life have kept you away, it's still worth recognising this when it comes to talking things through with your course tutor.
Get it right
The key is to be honest, even if you're basically admitting to being lazy. Alternatively, if you've found your time has been tested by a need to earn money, for example, or attend to family problems, let them know. Nobody wants you to fail. So long as you're prepared to help yourself, you'll get all the support and assistance you need.
A bad exam day
Maybe you turned the page and freaked out, or simply found you revised all the things the examiners chose to ignore. Whatever the case, exams can always be retaken. The question is when, and how much work you feel you need to do in order to make it through this time.
Your finances are in a mess
Being a student is an expensive business. If you have to work to fund your time at uni, then your studies may well suffer. In some cases, it may become financially impossible for you to continue. The temptation is to skip coursework in favour of paid work, but you risk paying a high price.
Get it right
No matter how bleak things seem financially, you don't have to give up on your studies. Talk to your course tutor about the funding options on offer. Contact student services and, if necessary, consider requesting a year out while you earn enough money to carry on studying the following year. It may not be what you had expected to do when you started out at university, but at least it means you can last the course.
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