There is no mood-killer quite like failing a class. Although it can be discouraging and dreams of graduate school may seem further out of reach, there are resources on campus that can help.
There is much to learn from failing a class, including ways to improve studying habits and identifying academic weaknesses. Instead of creating a trend out of failing, utilizing every resource available can be invaluable for future courses. There is even the possibility of replacing that ‘F’ as if it never existed.
Chris McSparrin, a senior psychology major, has much depending on his academic success.
“When I make a failing grade it is frustrating because I know I can do better,” McSparrin said. “Having a low GPA makes graduate school more unlikely and my financial aid could be revoked if it drops too low.”
McSparrin improved his performance in class by seeking out help from people in his department.
“I started working closely with my professors and teacher assistants, as well as my faculty adviser,” McSparrin said. “I improved after using my resources.”
Working on his personal lifestyle also proved to be effective.
“I struggled with (bipolar disorder), which affected my grades,” McSparrin said. “It was hard trying to level myself out and do school, but I utilized the counseling center on campus, improved my sleep schedule and registered at the Office of Disabilities. Now, I feel better than I ever have and I’m doing a lot better in school.”
Many factors can interfere with giving 100 percent to academia, ranging from health issues to balancing social life. It is crucial to be serious about passing, or the same trends will occur again and again. However, it is not the end of the world to learn from trial and error.
The University of Southern Mississippi tends to be a school of second chances.
“There are a variety of ways a student can improve their GPA -after failing a course,” said Greg Pierce, university registrar. “Because university policy allows undergraduate students up to 12 hours of repeats, for most students, the quickest way is to repeat the course if they have not already used their 12 hours of repeats.”
Retaking the same failing class again, armed with knowledge of what to expect, can replace the failing grade with a better one as if it never existed. However, failing multiple courses and retaking them repeatedly can set one’s schedule back from graduating on time.
“Another suggestion is for the student to make an appointment with their advisor to explore possible options,” Pierce said.
There are other programs available to undergraduates who need a helping hand. The Student Success Center, the Undergraduate Bulletin and the First Year Initiative are programs created and focused on student success. There are also places on campus that can aid specific needs, such as writing and speaking skills. The Writing Center and Speaking Center are located in the Cook Library on the first floor. Failing is never an uplifting experience, but it can be a positive one.
All failures are opportunities to learn.