Sometimes you’ll get a terrible mark, or the information won’t sink in or you’ll have a massive break-up that blows up your entire academic year. But that doesn’t have to be the end of your story.
There are plenty of examples of successful people who massively stuffed things up before they came good. Steve Jobs was sacked from Apple before he came back years later with some good ideas about how computers should look. And JAY Z was selling albums out of his boot because nobody wanted to sign him.
The important thing is not to give up. You’ll probably want to take a moment to catch your breath and/or wallow in sadness before dusting yourself off and trying again, but there’s no reason to take one bad year as a reason to throw in the towel forever.
This is future you and current you:
Think about what went wrong
Yeah, this might be painful but it’s important to be honest with yourself. Were you too busy going out every night to study? Was your ex too much of a distraction? Are you really cut out for your chosen degree, or should you be studying a different one instead? Important: being honest with yourself doesn’t mean beating yourself up. We’re all about moving forward here, not focusing on the mistakes of the past forever and ever.
This is you putting on a brave face for the next bit:
Rebuild your confidence
You’ve figured out what went wrong. Now you have to figure out how to make things right next time. A lot of successful people view their setbacks as lessons on how to improve. Reflect on what you’ve learned from your bad year, and how you can do things differently in the future. While you’re here, think about your strengths: the skills, experience and knowledge that have helped you get through tough times in the past. You don’t have to do this step alone – talk it over with a friend, family member or even a teacher who can help.
This is you with your confidence back:
Make a plan for yourself
It doesn’t have to be a grand scheme that lays out the next decade of your life. Focus on some goals you get work on straightaway – maybe you want to start exercising – as well as a more long-term goal like working for a certain company or having a certain job title. Again, this isn’t something you have to do alone. Getting input from someone who works (or has worked) in the place you want to be is a great way to make a practical and positive plan.
This is you psyching yourself up for your plan:
This might be the hardest part. Work out a way to be moving towards achieving your goals every day. It could be setting aside certain times to focus on study, organising a partner to exercise with or even setting up regular meetings with someone who’ll keep you on accountable. Best of all, if you maintain that consistency, the future setbacks you face won’t feel as bad – and won’t give you flashbacks to that year we’ve already forgotten about.
This is you Googling “tigger bounce gif”: