what i learned from failing a class in college

college can be really hard sometimes. i’m not making any excuses but i think a big part of the reason i failed a class was because of the amount of stress i was feeling. i know you’re thinking that if i can’t handle college then i won’t be able to handle the real world. and if you’re thinking that, you’re probably not someone that struggles with anxiety daily.

second semester sophomore year, i actually failed a class. like a big fat F. you need a C- to pass classes in the business school and i wasn’t even close. did i fail because i didn’t try? no. did i fail because i didn’t know the material? no. you’re probably confused. don’t worry, i was too. sophomore year was the first time i really started dealing with anxiety. i don’t know what it was, but i would take an exam and i would just freeze. these are questions i have practiced before, questions i have taught my friends how to solve. however, i couldn’t find the answers on my exams.

once i started to fail every exam and quiz, i began to feel down on myself. i thought i was stupid. i thought i wasn’t going to last in the business school. it was the end of sophomore year, and i had already failed two classes. the maximum amount of classes you can fail before you get kicked out of the business school. if i failed one more, i was done.

my body was a mess that spring. i was so stressed out that i didn’t have an appetite. i lost 14 pounds in 3 and a half months, without wanting or trying to. my hair started to fall out. i didn’t know what to do anymore. i didn’t feel mentally or physically healthy or strong.

i took the class again in the summer and got an A. it was the same class, taught by the same professor. i woke up every monday-thursday for a month, drove to unh, and sat in a two hour class, learning material i had already known. i obviously didn’t have as heavy of a workload in the summer, which is probably the reason i did so well in class. i just wasn’t feeling as anxious as i did during the semester.

i haven’t failed a class since sophomore year.

i learned that no amount of anxiety can change the past. there was no reason for me to dwell on my failures, because i couldn’t do anything about it. i failed and i had to learn how to move on. i knew that the reason i didn’t pass was because of how much stress i put on myself. going into my fall semester of junior year, i knew i had to change my mindset.

failing a class in college was a reality check for me. i knew i had to do something about my anxiety; i was on the path to failing out of the business school. i learned that it’s okay to ask questions. seriously, just ask your professors or classmates for help. don’t wait until the last minute like i did. i also learned to stop cramming the night before. if you don’t know it by then, you just don’t know. studying last minute only puts more pressure on yourself.

it’s only one class. it’s not worth feeling so anxious that you lose weight, sleep or hair. i learned that a positive mindset can change everything. if you tell yourself you’re going to fail from the start, chances are you will.

everyone struggles at some point in their life. there is nothing to be ashamed about. this took me a long time to realize after failing two classes in college. i learned that at the end of the day, none of it really matters. your health and state of mind are the only things that are important.

all you can do is your best.

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