Monday, July 29, 2013

What to do when you fail a class

From the #AskIsa inbox:

Dear Isa,

I am worried and scared because I think I just failed a class this semester. I know, I shouldn't have failed a class for any reason but it happened. So, I need some advice on what to do now.

I am aware of the impact it will have on my GPA and I know I will have to retake the course. Is there something I can do to not make it look so terrible (when in fact it is) for when I do transfer? This is so strange for me because I've never failed a class..



Dear Failed,

Thank so much for reaching out. I'm so sorry about your failed class - that must be so difficult to deal with. But fear not - failing a class can be overcome.

Below are a few things that I hope will help:

1) Check out The Chatty Professor's blog and book - she shares a lot of content about failing classes and how to talk to professors. 

2) Set an appointment to talk with your professor immediately. Take ownership of why you failed and ask the professor for advice on what you can do differently next time.Try to uncover why this happened and do your best to learn and grow from this experience. 

3) When it comes to transferring, many college (and scholarship) applications give you a small space to explain any special circumstances or discrepancies on your transcript. Use what you learned from your professor and write about how you were able to learn from failure, continue moving towards your goals, and stop it from happening again.

If an application doesn't offer this space, think about how you can incorporate this failure experience into one of the essays. 

The most successful people are often the ones with the most failures. They learned from their mistakes, changed, grew, and kept on going. Your ability to overcome this failure, stop it from happening again, and then become able to communicate it in a positive way will set you up for success in your future college and career journey. 



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