Student and Academic Life

Bouncing Back From Failure

Students working at computers.
Mark Cormelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 5, 2020) — So, you didn’t get the results you wanted on your last assignment. It happens and as long as it does not become a repeated occurrence, bouncing back from that grade is completely doable. 

Below are four steps you can take to turn your failure into a lesson. 

Take a deep breath. Everything will be okay. Failure is bound to happen and, in some cases, can be valuable to your journey. How you react to failure and understanding that failure is not the end; it is a source of insight that makes all the difference in bouncing back. Still feeling overwhelmed? Try these free mental health resources available to UK students.  

Evaluate and identify what caused the failure. Before you can dust yourself off and try again, you need to take some time to identify the causes of your failure. What went wrong? Was your studying technique the problem or maybe the lack there of? Pinpointing where you went wrong is valuable when determining the best way for you to move forward successfully. 

Create a plan. Now it is time to accept that you can’t change the past and focus on what you can control: the future. Once you have identified the source of your mistake, developing a plan to avoid falling into the same failure again is a major key. Can you mitigate the damage or take the test again? How can you study differently for the next exam? Can you sit down with your professor or a tutor to discuss where it all went wrong? The more specific the plan, the better. Try reaching out to one of UK’s academic coaches for help getting started.

Take advantage of the resources available to you. The University of Kentucky has a plethora of resources available to students to help them overcome failure. Equipped with dedicated staff members who devote their time to helping students succeed, UK resources are a great place to get back on your feet after an unexpected bad grade. Here is a list of free, virtual and in-person tutoring resources available to students at UK. 

While failure can feel like the end of the world, with these four steps above, failure is only a small bump in the road on your long journey through school. For additional information on academic success, visit the Student and Academic Support website

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