So you are just about to get your test grade back. You’ve studied for so long and all night, or hardly at all, and you get your grade back and it was awful. You’re crushed. You thought you did so well, or you know you did badly and wish you studied more. Almost everyone has been there. Especially at Auburn, which is ranked as one of the toughest school to get an A in the country. So what do you do? Well, you may cry, or you may have no response at all, but most of us will probably go through some or all of these stages at lease some point after a failing grade:
1.Denial and Isolation- “I don’t believe it.” “There’s no way I failed this.” “I KNEW I was going to do well.” “It’s my teacher’s fault.” Thoughts like this may pop into your head. You will deny, deny and deny some more because surely this test grade wasn’t your fault. It’s impossible. You may also want to isolate yourself. If asked about grade by classmates, you might refuse to reveal it.
2.Anger- “It’s my teacher’s fault!” “I studied all night for this!” “This test was absolutely ridiculous.” “None of the questions were in the power point slides or notes.” “My teacher is so unfair!” “I had too much to do this week!” You might get angry and assign responsibility to something or someone else.
3.Bargaining- “Maybe my teacher will give me extra credit.” “ Maybe I can write an essay in lieu of my test grade.” “I will wash my professor’s car.” “Maybe my computer friend can hack into the system and change my grade for me.” You will probably email your professor and obsessively check TigerI about 30 times that day.
4. Depression- “My semester is ruined.” “I will not bounce back from this.” “I hate my life.” “I studied so incredibly hard for this.” “I’m so dumb.” “My friends did so much better than me.” “I will never find a job because of this failed test.” This stage is a hopelessness feeling full of tears or sorrow.
5. Acceptance- You finally realize that life will go on. A grade doesn’t define you, your life or your intelligence. Sometimes failing is a greater lesson learned. Better luck next time. Go get ‘em, tiger!
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