Trying to recover emotionally after failing a class is sometimes harder than taking the class again. You've worked hard and suddenly, all that hard work goes down the drain. For many, the failure destroys their confidence and makes it even more difficult to pass later on. The best thing you can do after failing a class is to take some time to recover. Not only will you be stronger for it, but your grades will improve as well.
1. Surround Yourself with Positive People
After failing a class, you might feel like locking yourself away and wallowing in self pity. More than ever, you need to surround yourself with positive people. Schedule a night out with friends or visit family. It's okay to lean on them right now. Whether you talk about what happened or just distract yourself for a while, you'll reduce some of your own negative emotions and be well on your way to recovery.
2. Talk to Someone Who's Failed before
One of the biggest emotional hits from getting an F is the feeling you're the only one. First of all, everyone fails at something, usually multiple things throughout their lives. Find someone who has either failed the class before you or has dealt with some type of major failure. Once you realize you're not alone and it's not the end of the world, you'll start to feel a little better. Plus, you'll see that recovery is possible.
3. Make a Game Plan
So what if you failed the class this time? That doesn't mean you'll do it again. Failing often leaves you feeling lost and unfocused. This gives you far too much time to dwell on your weaknesses. Instead, give yourself a break and focus on what matters most – doing better next time. Write down exactly what went wrong and how you can improve. A game plan improves your confidence and gives you a new goal to focus on.
4. Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Your emotions are already raw. Don't make it worse by comparing yourself to the students who passed. Focus on yourself instead. While things didn't go right this time, you'll do better next time. Remember, those students you're comparing yourself to are likely dealing with their own personal demons. Take care of you and don't worry about everyone else.
5. Do Something Calming
Any time you start to feel anxiety about the failure, immediately do something calming. Whatever you choose to do should require your complete focus. Some students meditate or do yoga. Others focus on a hobby or strenuous exercise. Pick something that distracts and calms you. You'll feel better and find the anxiety occurring far less frequently.
6. Do Something You're Good at
Your emotions need a boost to help aid in the recovery process. What better way to boost them than doing something you're good at? Spend more time doing something that you excel at. This will remind you that a failed class doesn't define you. You're still successful, but you had a little bump in the road like everyone else.
7. List Positive Attributes
Failing often means an over abundance of negative thoughts. You constantly refer to yourself as “not good enough,” “a failure,” “stupid” or “incapable.” Stop now. Make a list of positive things about yourself and repeat them any time you start to dwell on negative thoughts. If you're feeling too down to make the list, have close friends help you.
You'll go through many failures in your life. Don't let a single class send your emotions into a tailspin. Give yourself a break and take some much needed time to relax and recover. What are some of your favorite ways to handle the emotional side of failure?