What do I do if I flunk out of college?
The worst happened: You flunked. Now to return home to mom and dad and share the news. But how do you tell them that you felt so depressed that some days, all you could do to get out of bed? How do you share that your anxiety was so great that leaving the room on test day was unbearable, for fears that you would have another panic attack? How do you face your financial situation without feeling that wave of guilt and shame wash over you? What’s more than that, lost and directionless, what do you do now?
Flunking out of college is the type of stress that can disturb a person’s whole life. The consequences can be overwhelming if you allow yourself to wallow in the guilt that’s wrapped up in feeling like a failure. Where do you go from here?
What Happened: Picking up the Pieces
First, it’s important to figure out what happened and the specific nature of the problems that contributed to your difficulty succeeding academically. Spending time in consideration about what factors contributed to the issue can help you to plan ahead, learn alternative coping skills, and chart a new course forward. Of course, this process is aided through the support of a therapist or program designed to help you succeed academically. Through this process, you may learn to stop preaching negative internal messages, and clear your mind from the pressure and guilt you bring on yourself. You will also learn important time management strategies, and you will also find a more holistic view of well-being.
What to Do Next: Planning it out
The most productive and positive way to deal with this type of situation is to spend some time planning wisely. Whether you want to return to school or want to find yourself in the ranks of those with full-time employment, give yourself time to make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. Going into a program like the ones offered at Launch Centers, or finding an entry-level job in the meantime (depending on your symptoms), may help you feel good about yourself and your contribution to society. If or when you decide to return to school, you should slow down and select classes that match your capacity each semester. Remember that there is no shame in taking things at a comfortable pace and that it is a sign of health rather than weakness to recognize your limits and respond accordingly.
As you continue making small but achievable and realistic targets to keep you motivated and moving in the right direction, you may see that you need to request accommodations from your university for additional breaks, separate exam rooms, or even just preferred seating. Arranging for a tutor or setting up a study group in any particularly difficult class may be an important step forward, and your school may already provide some great mental health resources.
If you decide that school isn’t right for you, remember that there are many jobs that do not require degrees from college, and failing college does not mean that one cannot achieve success in life. There are many other ways to earn a good livelihood if you have the potential and enthusiasm towards achieving what you want. Being motivated and putting in the effort will take you a long way and can bring about the desired results you are looking for.
Dropping out of college is not the end of the world, and you are not alone in facing this situation. Think positive and stay calm to conserve your energy for the path ahead. Continue to strive for the life that you want and view this time as one of reflection and redirection. Once you set your mind to something, nothing can hold you back if you have planned ahead and are motivated to achieve it.
Get started on the first step today! Meet with one of our admissions counselors here at Launch Centers, and learn about the program that will help you on the path back to you.