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Herzing Staff

You Failed a Course: Here’s What You Do Next

The world is not over, your future is not ruined, and you do have an opportunity to make this simple setback a lesson in growth.

It’s the end of the semester and you’ve failed a course. Before you panic, remember that this is something that happens to a lot of students. If you have found yourself in a position where you received a failing grade or something far below what you know you’re capable of, don’t worry for most, it represents a low point that they pushed through, not something that came to define their future.

The world is not over, your future is not ruined, and you do have an opportunity to make this simple setback a lesson in growth.

Here are five steps you should take to start the next course off right and return to form:

1. Calm Down 

This one might take a minute. Seriously, it’s okay. Flunking a course does not define you and certainly does not mean you are less intelligent or ill-prepared for college. Take a deep breath and reflect on yourself. If you’re busy worrying about failing and feeling down about it, you’ll have a more challenging time picking yourself back up again. Remind yourself that this is a stumbling block to learn from, not an anchor to pull you down.

2. Reevaluate Your Study Habits 

Let’s use this as a learning opportunity to improve future grades and raise your GPA. You can accomplish this by reassessing how you studied, took notes, and engaged in the class. Reflect on your study habits, and how you scheduled your time away from classes — we all know there’s more to the college experience than what happens in the classroom. Be honest about what areas you could improve upon. It might be helpful to talk to your professors or academic advisors to gain insights into where you might have gone wrong and how to rectify it. You can use this as a time to try out new study methods. Find what works for you and keep pushing forward. 

3. Reach Out to Others

You are never alone in your academic journey at Herzing. We understand that seeking help in a class may feel uncomfortable or like you are admitting you can’t do it. Rest assured that our supportive community is here to assist you in reaching your goals. Don't hesitate to ask questions during class or seek guidance from your peers, teaching assistants, and professors. Embracing the available support can lead to a more positive learning experience and help you excel in your coursework. Consider joining or starting a study group as well, as collaboration with your peers can enhance your understanding of the material and improve your overall performance.

4. Use Available Resources 

Herzing provides resilient and dedicated students like yourself with the resources they need to thrive academically. Take advantage of tutoring services, writing centers, and academic coaching available on campus and online. These accessible resources offer personalized support tailored to your specific needs and challenges. 

5. Set Intentions and Goals 

The first person you need to be accountable to is the person you are tomorrow. Before it’s time for the next semester of classes to start, sit down with yourself, and jot down some intentions and SMART goals. By doing this, you will have clearly defined steps to achieve greatness and something to hold yourself accountable to. For example, you can set an intention of studying one hour a day after class, meeting with a study group twice a week, or taking a couple of practice exams before a real one. Better yet—all of the above. Keep checking back in on those goals throughout the semester and monitor your progress. 

Remember, setbacks are a natural part of the learning journey, and failing a course does not define your potential or intelligence. At Herzing University, our team is always willing and ready to help you bounce back from a failed class. If you would like more guidance, we’re here to help— contact us today. Your future is bright, and with determination and the right support, there is no limit to your success. One day you’ll look back at this and smile.

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2022 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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