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How to recover from academic failure: turning disappointment into success

Everyone suffers defeats from time to time, the main thing is not to let them interfere with your future successes. Read how to recover from “failures” so that they play into your hands!

Bad results are not a tragedy

No matter how much you want things to always go right, they won’t. University is the most intense period of failure, but it is also the most wonderful. You have the opportunity to grow, develop and learn from your mistakes while having the support of family and friends.

There are many people around who love you and want to take care of you. They will be happy to turn to them for advice and support.

Look at failures in a positive way

The results are not an indication of your character and level of determination. They just show that in some situations, the measures you took do not work, and you need to think of others.

Look at failure positively, learn lessons, and appreciate constructive criticism from those close to you.

You’ve probably heard that grades for a session mean nothing and that in a couple of years you won’t even remember whether you had a 7 or 9 on your exam. This is partly true: the race for a red diploma in very rare cases justifies the expectations of the student. However, some exams are memorable, especially if the mark was important to you.

Look at the situation from a different angle. Perhaps you didn’t put enough effort, didn’t study the subject, didn’t do your homework, and didn’t even think to buy a compare and contrast essay for a good grade, but relied on luck. And it’s good that the failure happened in the session, not during the defense of the thesis project. Next time you should remember to try a little harder.

Forgive yourself

Considering yourself stupid if you misinterpreted a question or panicked and forgot what you learned is not productive. Take responsibility for your mistake, acknowledge that you are a human being, not a super being, and nothing human is alien to you. Everyone can get confused, forget something, get upset.

Respect yourself and interpret correctly the reasons why the failure occurred. In fact, there is nothing good or bad in the world: these concepts live solely in people’s heads. There are only cause-and-effect connections: if you identify them, you will be able to prevent mistakes in the future.

Remember why you need it all

If you care so much about grades, for sure there is a reason for it: the desire for a successful career, the desire to get praise from parents. Evaluate these goals and, if they are worthwhile, move forward with enthusiasm and zeal.

Take time off to be successful

Allow a day or two to switch gears and regain your composure before engaging in self-blame. The immediate reaction to poor performance can be intense and irrational; you need time to regain a level head. Get at least 8 hours of sleep, do physical activity, eat a nutritious diet, and keep bad thoughts out of your head.

How to use failure for good?

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to deal with failures to make them beneficial.

Be honest with yourself

Ask yourself logical questions to determine the reason for your poor academic performance. Be honest, no one will judge you:

  • Did you get enough sleep the night before?
  • Did you run through ALL the questions on your exam list?
  • Are you taking on more than you can handle?
  • Were you focused enough on preparing for the session?
  • How anxious were you during the exam?

It is not only important to analyze the situation if you fail. Answer the following questions regularly and look for ways to make the study process more effective:

Which subjects do I enjoy, and which ones do I cram through effort?

  • Do I need perfect grades in all subjects?
  • What topics/issues should I go deeper into?
  • How can I improve the learning process (put off gadgets, set a timer, etc.)?

Be proud of yourself

Surviving failure can be difficult. The fact that you look for the benefit of failure and turn it into a life experience shows your resilience and determination. With this attitude, you can be sure that you will succeed, no matter how hard the path is!


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