Six tips for dealing with academic failures

Failure is a part of life, and there is no way around it – everybody will fail. As long as you learn from your failures, failures can be good. Unfortunately, not everyone can get over failures.

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In my youth, I would have fallen under the category of not dealing with failures well. In high school, I remember being terrified about exams and assignments. I remember breaking out into a cold sweat before exams, and if I failed, the anxiety and shame of “what would happen next” would almost cripple me. I did not deal with it well. I just stopped caring about exams, results or assignments. As a result, I did not perform well for a while and fulfilled what I had feared would happen.

With age and hindsight comes wisdom (I hope). For me, wisdom came from one of my professors. He was counselling a classmate who was handling failure poorly. He asked this student first not to panic and think – what is the worst thing that could happen to me of this failure? This question profoundly affected me, and to this day, every time something goes wrong, I ask myself – what is the worst thing that could happen? At least until now, the answer has been “nothing I can’t handle”.

How you deal with failure is important, and the following are six simple tips that have worked for me.

1. Calm down and think. Now, you might think that is easier said than done – I JUST FAILED IN MY EXAM?ASSIGNMENT! This is where my old professor’s advice works for me. So, ask yourself – what is the worst that could happen, and can I deal with it? More often than not, the answer will be YES. Things are now always as bad as you imagined.

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2. Analyse the failure. Why did you fail? What did you do wrong? What did you do right? What can you do to change? What can you keep on and improve on?

3. Understand the process. Figure out what happens next. This is usually easily accessible information available to students and can be found in the student handbook or the college website. Ask your professors or student support team if you need help or more information. Find out the deadlines if you need to resit, reapply or resubmit.

4. Speak with your professor. Don’t be scared of your professors. They are teachers and are there to help. If it is an assignment, ask them where you lost marks and how you could improve to meet expectations. If you lost grades because you did not understand something or misunderstood the subject, ask for guidance and clarification.

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5. Prioritised study. I have written many times about the importance of scheduling. And after a failure, you have the opportunity to finetune your schedule to focus on your weaknesses. Schedule more time to improve the areas you are weak, or you could go the other way and focus on strengthening your strengths. Prioritise and schedule when, how and what you are focused on learning.

6. Support. People find strength in many places and people. It is not only important for your support system to rejoice with you in your success. My support system (your parents, spouse, children, friends, teachers, peers, etc.) provides me strength when I fail in the form of advice, help, or just being a shoulder to cry on. When they help me overcome my failure, they share in my success, which makes them happy and improves relationships. I know this is how I feel when the roles are reversed.

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I hope these simple tips help you overcome any academic failure you might face.

If you are looking to join a 100% online master’s degree programme, then consider joining our globally recognised master’s degree programmes. Look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme right for you, the application process, and details on discounts we might offer.

5 easy steps to break free and get unstuck in your career!

Last week I talked about five reasons you feel stuck in your career. In my opinion, one spends considerable time developing their career and then working the job. And it is far from ideal if one keeps feeling stuck and unhappy in their jobs. Now, every problem has a solution. So here I present to you five easy steps to break free and get unstuck in your career:

1. Introspect, revaluate, and develop new skillsets

There is new competition and talent added to the job market every day. Fresh graduates and experienced professionals with unique skills dominate the workspace. It is but natural to feel that your skillsets have become outdated. Now is the time to do some introspection and reassess your skillsets. Start by writing down your skills, even those you use in your personal life. You may be surprised to discover that those skills you never thought could be helpful in the professional diaspora are actually useful. Also, keep learning and adding the latest qualifications to keep abreast of the competition. You can also upgrade your education to a Master’s degree by studying online with RKC.

Photo credit: by Tim Mossholder

2. Move past the fear

You must come out of the shadow of fear. If talking to your supervisor about your career growth, new opportunities, or searching for new jobs instils fear of the unknown, then you are not pushing yourself and limiting your potential.

Learn to be outgoing and gather feedback from trustworthy colleagues about yourself. Make lists of pros and cons and identify the top things you fear most.

3. Evaluate your priorities

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Money could have been your priority before. But when you have reached a point where the job does not offer any challenges and has become monotonous. Yes, we work to pay our bills. However, it might make better sense to be in a job that might pay slightly less but the one that you enjoy doing every day.

4. Better late than never

Often you might be given some promises by the management of an upcoming raise or promotion. You end up waiting for that performance review, bonus, or annual increment. Because you are comfortable and used to working in that position, you might want to wait for the decision and what’s in store for you. But instead of waiting (sometimes in vain), you should keep planning for the change and look for better opportunities.

5. Create a roadmap and manifest

Photo credit: by Matt Duncan

You might be feeling stuck in your job because you don’t know what you want to do in the future. Without a goal, you might just be wasting your efforts. Try to channel your focus on what you want to do and grow your career. Invest sometime in yourself and research what areas might interest you. It might be time-consuming, but once you have a clear understanding, you will have a clear path and purpose.

I hope these five simple steps will help change your thought process and help actualise your dream career! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you feeling Stuck in Life? Here are 4 tips to help you to start getting UNSTUCK.

What do you do when you find yourself stuck? Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash.

Life can get complicated. At any given point, most of us will be juggling multiple roles simultaneously – father, son, husband, student, teacher, employee, employer, manager, subordinate, the list goes on. Managing all these roles effectively and efficiently can get stressful, and there may be times when we just get stuck.

The feeling of getting stuck is, at least in my opinion, a common and recurring aspect of life. It happens to everyone, and when it happens in one aspect of life, it can easily affect other aspects of life.

For example, let’s say you are facing a challenge at work that you cannot overcome no matter how much you put your mind to finding a solution. You are STUCK. Before you know it, or rather, without even being aware of it, this will slowly start affecting other aspects of your life. Let’s say you are also doing an online master’s degree programme and have a deadline to submit an assignment, but all you can think is how you are falling behind at work, and before you know it, that mindset of being stuck at work has now spread to your student life as well. And now this feeling of being stuck has been compounded and will start affecting more aspects of your life.

Hopefully, you will be able to nip this feeling of being stuck in the bud before it starts affecting something significant (again, in my opinion) like being a father, husband and son.

Like most things in life, there are a number of ways to get UNSTUCK and again, these are habits that you have to cultivate. Here are four easy ways to help you get started:

(1) Do not label: We just love to label everything, don’t we? Especially if it is something bad. Let’s say we haven’t achieved our targets at work for a couple of months; how many times have we cribbed, cried, and complained, saying it has been a bad couple of months or saying that we are going through bad times at work. When we label something as “bad”, we tend to write it off or give up. We move on, and there is no scope for improvement or learning from the mistakes committed.

Getting stuck labelling. Photo by Victor He on Unsplash.

Conversely, when we label something as good, we set that as the benchmark and limit our potential.

No matter how low we hit or how high we peak, there is always scope for learning, growing, and improving. So, don’t label anything as good or bad!

(2) Let go of baggage: As in the above point, your baggage can be good or bad. It is never a good idea to revel in the glories of the past or wallow in the miseries of failure. If you have had success, celebrate it – but only for a day, then move on to your next assignment or challenge. If you have failed, then you have failed – analyse it, learn from it, and move on – again, only for a day. Never let your wallowing in failure outstrip your celebration of success – find a balance. If you get stuck in the past, it will be difficult to get unstuck.

(3) Always have a goal: This is probably the most cliched and overused advice given in the history of advice. There is a reason for that – it is an important point and a point that works. Regardless of whether they are short term or long term, goals give you a direction, something to aim for (a destination) and a yardstick to measure your progress. As long as you have a goal or goals to work towards, there will be very little opportunity for your mind to wander, and you get stuck in inaction and demotivation. Having goals protect you.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash.

(4) Ask for help: If you find yourself getting stuck, maybe it is time for a change in perspective. We often tend not to see what is right in front of us, what is perhaps obvious to others, and unless we ask for help, no one will know we are struggling and stuck and therefore will not point the obvious out to us. Of course, there are many different people we could ask for help – from professionals to trusted friends/family or colleagues to your neighbouring know-it-all five-year-old. You have to identify what level of help you require and have the courage to seek it out.

These points are just four simple tips to help you get started on getting unstuck, and I would appreciate it if you shared with us what worked for you in getting unstuck.

If you have been thinking about doing a master’s degree, and are ready to challenge yourself, look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and for details on discounts we might be offering at this time.