Failing a College Class Does not Have to Be a Catastrophe

“Hi, my name is Joshua, and I failed one of my first college classes”. Does it sound familiar and frightening to you? Have you or any of your college friends been in such a situation? Unfortunately, failing a class is not rare, especially for freshmen. It happens a lot and for a range of different reasons:

  • Not enough motivation;
  • Hard to grasp the class’s material;
  • Personal issues associated with the lack of time to study well;
  • Wrong class choice;
  • Not enough support.

When I failed one of my freshmen classes on statistics I slowly realized that I simply made a wrong choice. I was coming from a high school with a specialization in humanities and thought that in college it was high time for me to study something “real”, which would pay off in the future. So, I picked up “The Introduction to Statistics” class where I barely managed to earn a miserable D grade in the end.

It took me some time and courage to realize and acknowledge that I have incorrectly set my priorities. The truth was that I had never had a truly mathematical cast of mind for this kind of stuff. My motivation was high as I knew how important statistics was for a good career – there are plenty of well-paid jobs on the market, even if you look at entry-level ones, such as data miner, database specialist, researcher, survey expert, data analyst, big data specialist, business architect, etc. So, I did not make a drama out of my failure and for the next semester took the classes, which emphasized soft skills (Marketing and Effective Business Communications).    

Why it is important to make the right conclusion

College is different from a high school in a way that it teaches students to become more mature and make conscious decisions. In high school students do not need to land on a particular study area or make the final choice for their future aspirations. They are free to experiment and try many things. On the contrary, in college, it is high time to find what truly inspires and interests you to pursue the best possible professional career according to your potential in the future.

Roughly 40% of all freshmen fail at least one of their classes. Half of those even never graduate as they struggle to study further. That’s why it is crucial to learn the lessons out of the initial failures and to proceed accordingly. Often, a simple boost in motivation and realization that college is no place for endless fun and all-nights’ parties can turn bad things upside down.

How to avoid failing classes in the future

Failures are not bad by nature; they teach us how to become better and to never repeat that kind of mistake again. More important is our attitude towards failures – we should think of them as opportunities, rather than catastrophes.

To avoid failing a college class again, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Make a conscious choice of your classes. As with my statistics class, I did not realize how hard basic math stuff would be for my particular personality. If I had someone knowledgeable around me to give good advice, I would not have made that sort of mistake in the first place.
  • Do not take too many classes. My college roommate wanted to try as many disciplines as possible before his sophomore year. As a result, the poor guy struggled with getting an E on even half of those classes. The moral is – it is better to take fewer classes and do great on those, than overloading yourself with too many studies.
  • Find out what drives you. Motivation is the key to success. You may be going to the right kind of class for you, but ruined relationships with your peer classmates or a professor may drain your energy and motivation. Know what drives you and try to surround yourself with motivation drivers.
  • Find someone who can help you. Sometimes, it is not our absence of motivation or aptitude that hampers our success, but not enough support from professors or their assistants to help us gain the knowledge. There are plenty of private tutors and professional academic support agencies online to aid your studies. For instance, you can hire an experienced writer to help you compose your best essay ever, or find a coach who will help you close that math gap in your knowledge.