Going to college can be a really stressful time as you leave home for the first time. Many people have different worries and anxieties, all of which are reasonable and normal.
One topic that almost all students across the globe worry about is what happens if, not when, they fail a class.
Of course, the main reason we are going to college is for an education, so our grades can fundamentally be a really important thing. At the end of the day, we all want to do our best and make college a successful and progressive experience.
College education is little different to high school, so to set you at ease we have compiled some tips and advice on ‘failing a class’. We hope this settles your nerves as well as helps you understand college life better.
Don’t Concede Failure
Maybe you are reaching the end of term and with your grade yet to be finalized and some assessments still to go, you feel you may fail your class. You may be wondering if this is a big deal or if you should just concede defeat.
A last-ditch effort is always worth it, in other words don’t give up on your grades. Even if this is something as small as going to your professor and confessing you need help, they may be able to provide help and guidance on what to do next.
If there are assignments that are still due, you can still give them a good go and if the margins are close enough, with the right amount of work and effort, you could still claw your way back to a pass.
Again, talking to your tutors and professors, as well as friends and family, can be a huge help and at the very least take the stress from your shoulders.
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What Are The Consequences Of Failing A Class
One thing people worry about is that they may be punished for failing. In high school, if you fail a class, your teachers might exact some form of guidance/punitive measures such as extra classes and private tutoring in your free time, etc.
This doesn’t happen at college. The study is considered to be independent, so the responsibility is on you to get your grades.
Of course, your professors and faculty staff are there to help you in any way, but you need to go to them for help – they will rarely come to you.
Mentioning this isn’t an attempt to make you worried, rather, it shows how college is an independent pursuit and that if you fail there aren’t any huge consequences as it only affects you. No one is going to tell you off.
Ultimately, a fail can impact your GPA a lot, which is a number calculated from your average grade score. College uses this number to judge your success as well as progress.
Often, this GPA score is used to judge financial support, the colleges will always support those who have higher scores, so lots of fails could affect your financial support, but only in dire circumstances – one fail isn’t going to ruin your college degree.
Obviously, a fail doesn’t look great and can be a blot on your college transcripts. No one wants to fail a class, and the annoying thing is that it will always mar your record when you see it. A reasonable fear is that companies may consider this when they are hiring you.
Some companies will, and they may ask you about it in an interview process, but others won’t bring it up. It’s all about how you turn something negative into something positive.
If you can show that you bounced back or that you improved somehow then this can also show character and grit, but it’s always better to not have a fail on your record.
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What Happens Next?
Well, that’s up to you. A fail can tell you a lot of things: maybe you aren’t giving your studies enough time over your friends or relationship, maybe that class just isn’t for you. If something isn’t working, then something needs to change.
In most cases, the class just might be too hard for you and you need extra help, the class just might not fit your strengths, or you might need a change at home.
Often, only you will know what went wrong and if you want that to change you need to change something too.
On both sides, a fail isn’t the end of the world and can be saved in some situations, but also a fail might be the signal you require that college isn’t for you.
If you feel that something is going wrong, this means you need to enact some change whether that is seeking help or just changing your schedule and lifestyle.
A fail isn’t going to ruin your academic career, there are plenty of people who get straight ‘A’s’ who might have a fail on their record because they tried a challenging class, or they just had a rough period.
The important thing to remember about college life is that it is independent, but you are not alone, never concede a fail if you can help it and always look to your tutors and friends for help and guidance.
It’s up to you how you spin this small defeat, don’t sweat the small stuff and look at the bigger picture. Help is always out there and fail doesn’t mean you have failed your degree, nor does it mean you will get punished.
A fail is simply a sign that you are struggling with a subject and can be a helpful indicator that change is required to gain continued success.