Based on this post
“Failure is the key to success"
We’ve all heard motivational quotes similar to the above. While they serve as an important reminder on our rough days, sometimes we need something more than hugs and well wishes to get us through.
You’ve failed. What next?
- Let it out: Step back. Take a few days off. Shower, catch up on that sleep debt. Remind yourself of who you are outside your academic study. Catch up with a friend for coffee (or just get some coffee). Watch a movie, marathon a tv series, built a pillow fort, tumblr, youtube spiral - anything. Because your academic life is only one piece (of varying size) of a larger puzzle. Remind yourself of who you are outside of university/ school.
- Formal/ Informal Avenues of Review : Check your school/university’s academic policies. Are you eligible to resit the exam? Were there any extenuating circumstances that affected your performance (e.g. medical, emergency etc)? Are you eligible to seek an adjustment to your marks? If you’re eligible, what documentation will you need to provide? Which staff member can you contact to follow up your application? If you’re not eligible, are there any other members of staff or advisor (e.g. course advisors, councillors, student leaders) you can discuss your circumstances with?
- Reset, Recuperate, Retake: It is likely that you will need to repeat or retake the class/ assessment/ unit. That’s ok. Seek feedback from your lecturer/ tutor or teacher. Consolidate your strong areas. Focus on the areas of the course you find challenging. Use the feedback given to target your study time!
- Same Shit, Different Day: While the content may be the same, using a different method to study may be more effective ( see below)
Same content? Change it up!
- flashcards by @illolita,
- colour coding
- audio recordings by @riseandstudy,
- mindmaps by @reviseordie
- sticky notes @etudiance
- Change your study habits by @whilwheaton
- Practice past papers. (see below).
Something to help you get back up on your feet
Videos and speeches to help you push through
- On being wrong
- On regret
- On making difficult choices
- On what the fuck to do with your life
- On "falling behind”
- On rushing things
- On success
- On motivation - for recent graduates
- On perspective by @fishingboatproceeds
- Just do it
Find songs to cry and scream to
- 8tracks and this spotify playlist
- Classical music for any mood by @violaboss
- Find something on the Nostalgia Machine
- Infinite Jukebox
- Make your own music
- IDGAF by Watsky “Let me tell you about my GPA, four-O, straight A’s and my- idgaf!”
Something to help you fucking laugh or smile
- Honest Trailers
- Dance Mashup
- Thomas Sanders @thatsthat24
- This kid and this kid
- Goat Remixes
- This vine
- Cute flash games (+amazing background music)
- Motivation wall by @study-ings
- Mug Cake by @sortedfood
- Calming Manatee
- Ultimate motivation song
- SCREAM INTO THE VOID (personal favourite)
Things to remember
Oi, have you ever failed anything?
- Yes. See here
Graduation is a journey.
- Yes, studyblr makes studying look glamourous, neat, aesthetic, "oh, look how these _____ notes helped me get an A+.” But writing notes, having fancy pens, using apps (whilst useful) only form one part of a larger narrative.
- The reality is much less appealing. The road to graduation is not a fairytale. The road to graduation is fucking tough. It may involve tears, frustration, all nighters, crippling anxiety and unhealthy levels of caffeine consumption. One set back does not knock you off the path to graduation. Setbacks are arguably a part of the journey.
Sometimes, hard work and effort will not translate into results.
- There’s a special brand of frustration that comes with dedicating the past month/week/ year to a particular project and not achieving your desired result/ grade. It stings like a bitch and is often accompanied by a sense of doubt.
- Check that you’ve followed your syllabus. Accept that there may have been factors outside of your control. Revisit the process - what did you enjoy? What did you learn from the mechanics of the process?
- The value of hard work does not necessarily lie in the result attained; nor is the result attained a reflection of the worth of your efforts.
Experience is an advantage
- Retaking the test/assessment/ unit can be an advantage. You know what questions to expect. More importantly, you know how you react under exam conditions. Prepare. Plan your exam time. Will you start the exam paper from the beginning or the end and work backwards?
- Use this experience in those pesky interview questions! (e.g. the good ol’ “tell me about a time you failed”)
Perfection is not a prerequisite to success
- Ah, my pesky perfectionist tendencies. At times, I must remind myself that I don’t need to be perfect in order to reach my goal. Not having the latest app, 10 different coloured pens, that fancy notebook, the newest edition of the textbook does not mean I’ve automatically failed. I just have to be more resourceful.
- Just start. Work with what you have, to the best of your ability. Yes it may be difficult; you might need to access extra resources online, or find material from other sources. Your notes may all be in the same colour, or spread over three different notebooks. But success will not be an option unless you start.
Other useful tips
- On bad semesters by @post–grad
- This masterpost by @areistotle
- Reducing stress by @mindpalacestudy
- How to fail by @psychstudyblr
A final note…
You’ve probably been through hell to get to where you are. Celebrate your achievements - don’t diminish them. Build a support network (heck, at the very least make a youtube playlist of funny videos). You’ve passed an exam before. You’ve endured X number of years of formal academic education. Sure, each exam is slightly different and each comes with its customised brand of torture. No two exams are exactly the same. But have confidence in yourself - you’ve picked up some transferrable skills along the way - determination, resilience, the endurance to pull all nighters.
Whether you’ve been a straight A student up to this point, a masters student or top of the academic pyramid, failure is going to be one of those annoying things you’ll eventually face.
What you do with it?
Well, that’s where shit gets interesting.
All the best,
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