Doc Seidman Says…
…Did you just fail a college class? That’s too bad. It feels awful, doesn’t it? In fact, it downright sucks. You feel defeated. I’m sure you even feel that you let your family down. That is a typical reaction. Of course, you let yourself down too.
If you are like most students, you probably start blaming others for the failing grade. The professor was probably against you. You weren’t as “chummy” to him or her than other students so you didn’t get the benefit of the doubt. If there was a teaching assistant, you might blame him or her, too. They didn’t understand you. You might also blame your friends. They may have pressured you to miss a class here and there. The dorm might even be to blame. There is too much going on. It takes away your time. Blame the fraternity. Blame the sorority. Blame your job. Blame your sibling. Blame your parents.
You probably blame everyone but the person you really should be blaming— yourself.
So, you failed a class. You screwed up. Who doesn’t these days? It’s normal. It shows you are normal. You are in good company.
Don’t despair. Well…you can despair for a little while; but don’t despair any longer than that. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back out there. Start by accepting blame. Learn from your mistake. That’s what all good leaders do. They fail, they learn, and they move on. And most of the time, they do what they need to do to succeed.
Another thing. Don’t hide from the professor who gave your grade. Don’t walk ¼ mile out of the way because you see him or her in the same area as you. Go ahead and greet them. Admit your error to them and tell them you will do what it takes to succeed next time you take the class. Your professor will admire you for that. Trust me.
Some of my favorite students over the years were the students who messed up, took responsibility, and went back at it. They did not run from me. They did not disrespect me; and most of all, they didn’t ignore me. They won my respect. They earned my respect. I thought the world of them (and told them so).
So, the next time you fail something, look around. Just about everyone in your eyesight failed something too. We all do. The special students are the one that learn from it and make themselves a better person and college student.