Sybil Low by Sybil Low
How To Keep Faith When You Are Failing With Your Studies?

A university student named John Harris publicly expressed his frustration today after withdrawing from his Statistics class mid-semester. Harris, a full-time student, admitted to falling behind due to demanding coursework in his other subjects and inadequate time management.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Each student has unique capabilities and it’s essential to respect these individual limits and avoid comparisons to foster a healthy academic environment.
  • Acknowledging mental health struggles, promoting open conversations, and seeking necessary help are critical components of academic success.
  • Learning from setbacks, maintaining resilience, and adopting new strategies in the face of challenges defines academic success, not a flawless record.

Harris took the midterm exam last Tuesday, already presuming he had performed poorly and even left a few questions unanswered. He shared his disheartening experience of feeling overwhelmed during the exam.

Harris also expressed feelings of alienation and inadequacy at the university due to his struggles with math-related courses, confessing, “I wish I was a smarter student that can just take the class once and move on.”

Despite his struggles, Harris confirmed that he is successful in courses directly related to his major. He pointed out that the inclusion of math classes in his degree requirements was an unfortunate necessity. Harris concluded by affirming his commitment to improving his skills and confronting his challenges head-on. “As much as I hate it, I’m still going to learn and do whatever it takes,” he said, promising to retake the class.

Coping with Challenges in College

Higher education is an exciting journey, but it can also bring along challenges and emotional trials that may overwhelm students. Students often face academic pressures, grapple with mental health issues, and juggle work responsibilities. One student recently shared their struggle with withdrawing from a statistics course, revealing the inner turmoil they faced. The story sparked a wave of empathetic responses and shared experiences on a forum, fostering a sense of solidarity and resilience among students facing similar challenges.

Understanding Personal Limits and Celebrating Uniqueness

An important perspective shared by one student, who’s navigating through university with Autism, ADHD, and mental health struggles, is the need to understand and respect personal limitations. As they put it, “Each of us are unique individuals and have our own limitations.” Encouraging students to avoid comparing themselves with others, they emphasized the importance of focusing on individual paths and capacities. They mentioned, “Try not to compare yourself with others. It does you no good, so try to stay focused on your own path.”

Lessons in Perseverance and Patience

A former tutor with more than 15 years of experience highlighted how students sometimes fail or withdraw from courses due to high academic pressure or inadequate teaching quality. They explained that these setbacks are a part of the college experience and should not reflect on the students’ value or capabilities. They encouraged students to go easy on themselves and recognize their efforts, “You’re doing the best you can, and sometimes the best thing we can do is to admit that we can’t do everything we want to do right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get it done later. You are doing great and I am proud of you for how far you’ve gotten.”

A Journey Towards Self-Acceptance

Another student shared their journey of self-discovery and acceptance, illustrating the importance of mental health awareness. They shared, “Learning to live with my proclivity toward poor mental health (not “fixing” it) is the greatest change I’ve ever made in my life. I needed therapy. I think you do too.” They also provided valuable advice about recognizing the difference between guilt and shame, and the significance of seeking help when needed.

Overcoming Fear and Embracing Challenges

Several students narrated their tales of grappling with challenging subjects, career changes, and the fears associated with them. These stories served as reassurances that setbacks are not indicative of permanent failure or inability. One student explained how they eventually mastered statistics – a subject they initially struggled with – by changing their approach to studying it, hinting at the possibility of alternative learning styles.

The Importance of Perspective

A significant theme that emerged from the discussion is the understanding that setbacks are a natural part of the learning journey and do not determine one’s worth or future. A professional in their 40s, reflecting on their own experiences of withdrawing from courses in the past, reassured the students, saying, “Sometimes timing just isn’t right and the schedule needs to be edited to make everything work better for you. Not a reflection of your intelligence or your ability to be successful in life. You’re good.”

How To Keep Faith When You Are Failing With Your Studies?

A Look Ahead

While college may present certain difficulties and setbacks, the shared experiences underline the importance of resilience, adaptability, and the will to keep moving forward. These narratives remind us that success is not defined by a straight, smooth path, but by one’s determination and ability to overcome hurdles along the way. As one student poignantly put it, “The road to success isn’t perfectly paved so we will fall on occasion, take your moment on the ground but dust yourself off and keep pushing. You can do it!”

This open conversation is a valuable reminder that academic success is a complex, multifaceted process. It emphasizes the importance of understanding personal limitations, acknowledging the critical role of mental health, leveraging resources, and maintaining resilience in the face of setbacks.


How do I keep faith in my studies when I’m consistently failing or withdrawing from courses?

It’s important to understand that setbacks are part of the learning process. Rather than seeing it as a failure, consider it an opportunity to learn and grow. Reframe your approach to studying, seek help when necessary, and understand that success is defined by your resilience and adaptability, not by a flawless academic record.

I feel alienated and inadequate due to my struggles with certain subjects. How can I overcome this feeling?

Many students grapple with feelings of inadequacy and alienation, especially when struggling with subjects that they find difficult. Remember, everyone has unique strengths and limitations. It’s crucial to focus on your individual journey and avoid comparing yourself to others. Seek support from tutors, counselors, or peers and remember to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.

How can I balance my academic responsibilities with my mental health needs?

Balancing academics and mental health is a challenge many students face. It’s essential to acknowledge the importance of mental health and prioritize self-care. This could mean taking breaks when needed, practicing stress-management techniques, or seeking professional help if required. Understanding your personal limitations can also help in maintaining a balanced approach to your studies and mental wellbeing.

Read more:

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