Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ask Isa: What to do if you fail a class

From the Ask Isa 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 I did and 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 is something I can do to, I guess, 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.


Class Fail

Dear Class Fail,

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) 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. This will only be a failure if you don't take the opportunity to learn from it.

2) Set an appointment with your academic advisor to talk about the failure and ask about your options. As you mentioned, many colleges do offer the opportunity to retake a class. Ask your advisor what your options are and ask for advice on which option will be best for you. 

3) Don't be afraid to explain the situation in your transfer applications. Many applications include an opportunity for you to add commentary regarding anything on your transcript. Use that space to share how you you were able to learn from the failure, overcome it, move forward, and keep it from happening again.

Overcoming adversity can be one of the best ways to explain your character and resilience in applications. Use this to your advantage and don't let it stop you.

The fact that you are reaching out already shows you are the kind of person who is going to bounce back from this, learn all you can, and keep going towards an amazing college career.

Good luck! And remember this oldie but goodie:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - 
Michael Jordan

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