How to deal with Failing College? (11 tips)

In this brief guide, we are going to discuss failing college and how to deal with it.

Failing college or doing badly on an exam

Failing college or exam/test, or even failing out of High school, is not the end of the world. Don’t let failing college bring you so down that you are not able to function and your mental health suffers.

If parental pressure due to failing college is what is making you sad and stressed out, then you might benefit from talking to friends or even a professional. Open channels of communication with parents will also help.

Challenges of college

Being in college is challenging for a variety of reasons.

Academic life has many twists and turns like exams and assignments, and on top of that young adults must forge their social identity at the same time.

Most people need to also be financially independent and combining all these together would make the situation seem daunting to just about anyone.

This kind of pressure can give rise to some very difficult mental issues that may cause problems like failing tests or even failing college.

In fact, according to research, around 1 out of 5 college students suffer from anxiety or depression or other neurotic illnesses, and they very rarely receive the help they need for these due to their poor financial conditions or academic pressures.

Can mental health lead to failing college?

Mental health issues can lead to problems like failing college very easily.

The stress of living under the pressure of constant work and making a living to get by at the same time and living away from home for the first time can bring enormous change to a person’s life.

The pressure of meeting deadlines and socializing and meeting expectations can take a toll on anyone, and it can be particularly hard on young students who are worried about their future.

What about college stress?

To help with college stress one can choose from a number of options.

There are quite a few resources available for students suffering from mental health issues both on and off-campus.

If someone feels they are suffering from the stress of college life, they can seek these out and get some much-needed help before it gets to the point of failing college.

College failure can be a very scary situation to think of, but it doesn’t have to be a definite end to all stressful situations you may be experiencing.

Whether you are failing out of school or thinking of leaving it, there is always someone to talk to about it, and you don’t have to be alone in this scary situation.

Quitting or dropping out of college

Some people also choose to drop out of college for personal or

professional reasons.

With the rise in technology, there are more and more opportunities for young and talented individuals who are not formally educated.

If someone wants to drop out of college, they should never take the decision lightly. There are always people to discuss it with and whose advice can be sought before taking this huge step.

Dropping out of college also has some obvious disadvantages, in that it deprives people of the stability they might have from having a college degree.

Whether you want to quit completely or just take a semester or two off to get some real-world experience is totally up to you, and both are valid options, but it always makes sense to talk to a college counselor, your parents, or even a wide friend circle.

Alternatives to college

There are so many alternative methods of getting an education and diversifying your knowledge.

It does not matter if you are failing college or dropping out of college, you can always explore some other avenues to ensure a bright future.

Some people try switching majors or trying out some new classes. A change in subject can be quite refreshing and may change your review.

There are also some great resources for online education. If you have in fact failed college you can try to check these out as well. Some of these also offer diplomas or minor degrees.

You can also work at summer camps, go abroad to teach, do volunteer work, or get some other kind of work experience. You can also take a gap year and explore the world to get some perspective.

Tips to deal with failing college

Here are some tips to deal with failing college. These, along with the alternatives given above, should help you get by just fine.

Relax, it’s not unfixable

The first thing to do after getting bad news like failing college or making a huge decision like dropping out of college is to relax.

It may seem like this huge, life-altering thing, but really, it’s not, and many people have done it and gone on to lead good, successful lives.

If you’re prone to panicking easily, try some breathing exercises.

Talk to your social circle

A key step is to communicate with the important people in your life, friends, family, significant others.

Failing college can be a huge deal and in times like that one needs the support of other people, so make sure you reach out and don’t suffer alone.

Look for alternatives

The alternatives mentioned above are the tip of the iceberg. There are many things to do, use the internet, and do your own research, find things you can do.

There are options like learning a trade, studying online, volunteering, working, teaching, you just need to pick a few options and explore a new life!

Talk to your professors

Professors can be a great resource for you if you’re failing college.

Contrary to what it may seem, professors care about students and if you are failing college you can go to your professors and ask them for guidance on what you can do next or how you can salvage your situation.

The professors can also tell you where you went wrong or what your weak points are, and you can then correct them.

Read about people who went through failing college

Reading about people who also dealt with failing college can reaffirm some of your self-worth that may have taken a hit.

This can also help you figure out some direction that you might want to take next, and give you some hope that if these people made it so can you.

Assess your priorities

Failing college can really put things into perspective.

Examine what led you to fail, check your previous test results, and see where you might have been at fault.

Once you know what is important to you and how you can change your life for the better after failing college, it’ll be easier for you to deal with the loss.

Take some time for yourself

Failing college is in no one’s game plan, so take some time to yourself to heal properly when something like that happens to you.

When you take time to yourself, make sure you spend it with things and people you love. Try not to let any previously negative things come back into your life so that you can really start fresh.

Widen your study field

Did you end up failing college because you were studying something that you were not good at or were not interested in? You would be surprised how common that is.

Widening your area of study is a great way to accumulate more knowledge and search for what makes you truly happy.

There are many people who find their true calling after failing college because it gives them the opportunity to diversify.

Assess why you are failing

Have you looked into why you are failing college?

It may be due to a number of reasons, it could be that you are not motivated, your classes are hard, you’re not interested in your field of study or you’re not understanding your subject matter or the academic process correctly.

You won’t know why you’re failing unless you talk to various people in your academic life, and once you do you can at least avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

Talk to a professional

You can also talk to a college counselor or another professional that can help you both deal with failing college and figure out what to do next.

You need to remember that you are not the first person to have failed college and that these people are trained to help in these situations. Talk to them and figure out what to do and how to deal with the negative reaction you are having.

Plan ahead

Make a concise, clear plan for the future and get on it as soon as you recover from the blow of failing college.

Being structured and planning ahead is helpful in all walks of life and it will serve you well in this case too.

Make sure you take copious help in planning out your future and include people that care about you so they may provide valuable input.

Failing college is not the end

Failing college is not some sort of dead-end and you can easily bounce back from it. Here are some other things you can look into to deal with the transition.

When your life seems like it’s suddenly going haphazard because you are failing college, it can be helpful to differentiate between the things you can control and what you cannot.

An example of this may be that you may not have any control over what grade you will receive,  for the essay you submitted, but you can do your best and find a way to be okay with the feedback.

Other things in your control are:

·       Your bodily processes, sleep, food, and other routines.

·       The quality as well as quantity of food you eat, is it healthy?

·       Times spent on social media and video games or other entertainment

·       Money you spend ordering food or cooking at home

·       Stringent avoidance of drugs or alcohol

·       Positive things you can do in your free time (extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, participating in various groups, finding a hobby, etc.)

Important Things to remember when failing college

There are always things you can do even after failing college.

The important thing to remember is to not lose hope and keep on working on yourself and making a proper plan for the future.

It is also important that you take care of your mental health at this time as that can suffer due to such setbacks. Make sure you keep your friends and family informed of any changes in your mental state and get the help you need immediately.


In this brief guide, we discussed failing college and how to deal with this issue.

FAQ: Failing College

How bad is failing a college class?

Failing a college class can be quite bad and may have serious consequences in the long term.

A failing grade can reduce your GPA (unless it’s a pass/fail class), which can hamper your financial aid.

The failure may also end up on your college transcripts and this can harm your chances of getting into graduate schools or getting good jobs in the future.

What should I do if I am failing college?

There is a lot you can do if you are failing college. Let’s look at a few of these things.

·       See how you spend your time and make sure a good chunk of it is for education

·       Ensure your field of study is fitting

·       Make sure your mental state is healthy

·       Assess if your expectations are realistic.

·       Make good plans and try to stick to them

Can you get kicked out of college for failing?

Yes, a student can be dismissed from college due to a poor academic record.

While one class will not result in failing college, multiple failures and a bad academic record can lead to permanent dismissal.

Will one bad semester of college ruin me?

One bad semester in college is a setback, but it won’t ruin you if you make some necessary changes.

You can declare academic bankruptcy, and this essentially erases the grades of an entire semester or quarter.

Is it bad to not finish college in 4 years?

No, as long as you finish college and do it well, it is not a bad thing to take a little longer than your classmates.

Many students have problems with academics that are not related to how smart they are or how good at academics, sometimes other factors are at play. Do not feel bad, feel proud that you finished.


Your Child Failing College, What To Do Next: Expert Guide

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