How to Bounce Back from Failure – College Info Geek
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How to Bounce Back from Failure – College Info Geek

So, you failed a test, or
maybe this entire semester’s just been terrible and you
feel like the whole thing has been a failure and now your
life, basically, boils down to nothing but this.
(book slams) Where do you go from there? Well, that’s what I want to
talk about today, and I feel like this video boils down,
really, to just two main points. Number one, failure is
not the end of the world. It’s not nearly as bad
as you think it is, and it happens to
absolutely everyone. And, number two, learning
from that failure, becoming resilient to it, and re-trying
in a smarter way, these are all essential skills to learn. And, I think failure seems
so monumental and terrible because we don’t talk about
it, even though it happens to everyone, none of us
wants to be vulnerable enough to put our failures out
there, it’s uncomfortable. So, we tend to just project
our successes and keep the failures bottled up inside
and each of us has to deal with them alone. So, that’s where
I want to start. I want to put a few of my own
personal demons and failures out there to let you know
that, if you’re currently dealing with a failed test
or something else, we’re both standing on the exact
same playing field. Off just the top of my head,
I can think of two instances where I failed exams in college. There was a physics exam I
failed during my freshman year, and then, in my junior
year, there was a core part of my major, a computer
networking class, and I failed and exam because I was just
like not paying attention during that semester. And, those two failures were
pretty bad, but they pale in comparison to something
that happened in high school that I have not wanted to talk
about ever since it happened. But, I’m gonna put it out
there because, hopefully it’s useful to you guys. So, in high school, my senior
year, I got this really cool part time job, and I worked
a lot of part time jobs in high school, ever since I
was 14, in fact, but this one was really cool, which
makes it all the more worse that I only was there
for three months. And, I was only there for three
months because I got fired. And not because some politics
or the economy or whatever, or like Godzilla was
about to smash my cubicle. I got fired because I was
crappy at my job, and I didn’t respect the position,
and they fired me, totally justifiably. It was like a flat
on my face failure. And, I remember walking out
of the building, I was like, “That’s it, my life is over. “No one will ever hire me again. “Why would they hire me? “I’ve already violated
somebody’s trust.” And I was like, “Might as
well give up now, right?” But, looking back,
everything was fine. I still went to college. I had a lot of part
time jobs in college. I did really well
at all of them. I even went to a full
time internship and now I’m running my own business,
because I learned from those mistakes. And with the exams, it
was the exact same thing. I learned from my mistakes. I learned that I wasn’t
paying attention. I had to buckle down. And that’s what those failures
were, they were just valleys in this overall, crazy graph,
trend of our life’s progress. Because, it isn’t just this
linear, nice curve upward. There’s going to be
peaks and valleys, successes and failures. Hopefully, the overall trend
is upward, but it’s really volatile, so, if you find
yourself in a valley right now, a failure, that’s just
part of your journey. You’re gonna get out of it. But, how do you get out of it? What’s the best way to
potentially get out? Well, that’s what the rest
of this video is about, and I really think it boils
down to six steps in a process. And I want to lay this process
out for you, but first, I just got to warn you,
near the end of this video, I am going to drill
into your soul. Okay, maybe that’s a nut
heavy, but I am gonna say some words to you that might pull
you out of your warm little comfort zone, ’cause I think
you might need to hear them. But, let’s lay the
foundation first, with that six step process. The first step is to figure
out, do you need to do damage control right away? Is there some sort of reaction
that the failure warrants, right away, to make sure
that further bad stuff doesn’t happen? For instance, maybe you just
completely skipped a test, for some reason. Well, obviously you need
to contact the professor right away to see if there’s
any way you can make up a test, because, obviously, it
wasn’t your fault that ninjas attacked you on your way
to the testing center. It just happens, like these
things happen, and hopefully, your professor will understand. But, if you have found out
that there’s basically nothing you need to do right away,
you just need to kind of move on, over time, gradually,
then I think the first thing to do is to give
yourself some distance from the problem. Like, right away, failures
seem monumental, they seem earth crushing, like everything
is bad, and your emotions are just blaring sirens in
your brain, and you really can just, only give
yourself distance. There’s nothing really
good that’s gonna happen right away, because you need
to let these emotions subside. So, sleep on it, or talk with
a friend, vent a little bit, or play a stupid video game,
forget the world, and once those emotions do go away,
then that’s when logic can take over and start to do
some more useful stuff. And, at that point, what you
need to do is to figure out what caused the failure? Like, when you play a video
game and you die, you do retry, but you’re also
trying to figure out like, “Why did I die? “Okay this pit was too
far to jump over without “getting a running start
first, so now I need to run.” Identifying the points of
failure is critical for retrying and succeeding. That’s what engineers do and
that’s what you need to do. So, figure out what was it that
caused me to fail this test. Was I overwhelmed? Did I just take too
hard of a class? Did I need a tutor? Or was I just completely
distracted and unmotivated to pay attention in class? Now, once you’ve figured
out the problem, once you’ve figured out the most likely
cause, then the next step is to develop a plan for
retrying in a smarter way, adapting, and dealing with
that point of failure. You can’t just try in the
exact same way, right? That’s the definition
of insanity. So, if you were unmotivated
to study, then maybe you need to get a tutor or just an
accountability buddy, or maybe you need to say, “I’m not
gonna study in my dorm, “I’m going to commit myself
to going to the library “three days a week, I’m gonna
meet with my study buddy, “and we’re going to study
for at least three hours, “cumulatively, over the week.” Now you’ve got that plan. And step five is to retry, just
like you do in a video game. And also, the last step,
be willing to ask for help if you need it. I’ve had some people who’ve
asked questions on my videos in the comments, being like,
“How do I get help, ’cause “I’m too embarrassed or
too scared to ask for help “in class, ’cause I don’t
want to look stupid.” And, that couldn’t be further
from the truth, asking for help is showing that you’re
smart enough not to accept ignorance out of pride or
some fear of embarrassment. And, now that you’ve failed
something, you know for a fact, the writing is on the wall, that you’re not
above needing help. So, if people are willing to
provide assistance, be humble enough to accept it. If you’re on a sinking
ship and somebody comes by in a row boat to save you,
jump on that row boat. So, that is the process for
dealing with failure, and to end this video, I just want
to give you a little bit of motivation, because to
be honest, a lot of people, this is the sad truth, but
a lot of people just kind of let life happen to them. And, a lot of people let
their past decisions, past bad decisions, past
failures, set the course for the rest of their lives. Don’t be one of those people. Very few failures will
keep you down and prevent you from retrying
and building back up. Most failures, as long as
you’re willing to work, and willing to analyze what
caused the failure, most of them are just opportunities for you
to get smarter, and for you to adapt, and for you
to become resilient. In a speech she gave at Harvard
University, back in 2008, J. K. Rowling once said that
“The Knowledge that you have “emerged wiser and stronger
from setbacks means that “you are, ever after, secure
in your ability to survive.” Failure is not the end,
it’s just an opportunity to gain insight. So, if you don’t like
where your past failures and past decisions have
gotten you, then start looking at what caused those failures
and retry in a smarter way. Or, to re-frame that statement,
if you don’t like who you were yesterday, then be
willing to put some steps into action today, and
tomorrow, and the next day, to start changing that person. Now, hopefully I
didn’t get too heavy at the end here, for you,
and hopefully this video was helpful to you in some way. Either way, thank you so much
for watching, and as always, I’ll see you next week. (inspirational music)

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “How to Bounce Back from Failure – College Info Geek

  1. I’m standing at the cliff of failure. My college put me on Financial Aid Suspension that means they won’t pay my classes this year, I have no way out of it.. I have no money to buy books.. I enrolled in classes for this semester which I don’t see why going would matter.. I feel like I failed and embarrassed myself.. to my parents.. to my family.. I seriously hate myself in which I would totally lock myself in my room for the rest of my life.

  2. i studied whole year to pass my history exam but still when the exam started i couldnt recognize one picture and it had 15 points so i got really nervous and couldnt even finish my test properly.. the results are gonna be very soon but im like 99% sure i wont make it:( just thinking about all my friend applying to university and me sitting in my room and waisting 1 year for nothing.. im crying rn, but still we shouldnt give up on our dreams

  3. I'm here because I failed my exams and I don't know how to handle it especially how I'm gonna tell my parents…

  4. I don't know why I even get sad
    Just because I got 17/20 and my friend got 19/20

  5. I literally just failed a class as soon as it started, I missed a whole week of due dates that were never mentioned in the class, should I just drop it and restart it again next semester?

  6. So. Got my exam today and I got 14/20 and I felt so sad today and I was scared what my parents would think, but this helped

  7. Sometime, i just feel scare to move on after i got failure, but failure is the best teacher for us. Just like a game, try again

  8. i'm sitting here with tears on my face looking at this biology homework.

    it feels like they translated it into thesaurus language.

    i have no clue what i am staring at.

    i'm just gonna cry myself to sleep.

    i have never failed a class in my life, but i think now is my time.


  9. This helped me to feel a little better. I am so disappointed because I just lost 10 points in a physics exam because of carelessness.

  10. IM POSSIBLE ‘- please don’t give up. keep doing the great work your doing. a low grade doesn’t determine your future. and if that grade still doesn’t improve, then try another different way. you were made for a reason, don’t stop chasing your dream:D

  11. You have my everlasting gratitude, sir. I'm trying to earn a full rights scholarship and I got a B on one of my assignments. Because it wasn't an A, I've been in a panic. However, thanks to your motivating words, my heart feels lighter.

  12. My roommate just failed his first math test. I sympathized with him (however I took that test also and it was easy. Well I guess most people failuire some exams and courses at some point) but then asked him where were my footlong hotdogs. I then got angry at him because I think he ate my footlongs!

  13. Just failed a Probability and Statistics class. Returned to college after many years since leaving school. It was my fault, I wasn't prepared and had really poor study habits, and only recognised it a couple of months ago and have been trying to study 'properly'…. I'm actually surprised that I managed to catch up on the other 3 classes…. I expected a complete flop all round. Have to re-take stats next year. Although I'm frustrated and sad, I'm also a bit relieved to have a result, even a fail, because the uncertainty was killing me. Will take a few days to relax from study.

  14. I just failed a Physics Exam after being overconfident. I have three more Exams left and I am in the process of getting back up and doing better. Yes I can , Yes I will

  15. I failed my first year of uni… i feel like its end of the world and i cant continue studying in this field in future if i sign out of uni ._.

  16. The results of my test came in today, and yes I failed. All my friends passed. Even though they tried to make me feel better. Knowing they passed and I couldn't makes me feel so worthless

  17. Would love for y’all to pray for me … I just failed my first exam of the school year in physics and I am feeling so defeated…

  18. Literally my math teacher thinks I should be bumped down to a lower math. I haven’t gotten a good grade on one of my math tests… because I just don’t freaking get it!

  19. I hate it when I study hard but I end up getting a low b. I also hate it when my mind can’t think straight and even when I want to study hard, I can’t. And when that happens my brain isn’t able to know most of the basic knowledge and I fail :p I fail a lot, but I always have this awful feeling when I see a bad grade on my report card or assignment.

  20. Just failed an evaluation in school.i was sweating and felt like a total dumbass. This vid made me feel a little better, thanks

  21. I have two 90’s in my two of three main classes, but since I forgot to hand in a bunch of papers for almost two weeks, I have a 57 in my third one. It’s scaring me too much to tell my parents. School just started almost exactly a month ago, so I still have tons of time to boost those scores up, because I’m fairly good in that class, but I don’t know if I can. This may not sound that bad, but It’s still scaring me on a day to day basic ever since I found out last week. It’s not helping that I just had a test I’m confident I did not so great on.

  22. Is it bad if you get 1 C+ on math on a test in freshman year
    Cuz that happened to me but I’m very smart in math and get very nervous on a test and forget

  23. Sometimes I REALLY want to try, I always tell myself “you know, you will try your hardest and do the best.” But then not even a minute later, my heart just drops and I’m like,” You f’d up,good luck surviving school.” My mood swings get the best of me when I fail and it makes me so pissed because there is time where that false hope I’m getting makes me procrastinate and think that “I will pass.” I’m still young and I’m still growing, but that’s also why I’m failing. Sometimes I overthink a question and get myself mixed up.
    I had this science test way back asking the Work Formula (Force multiplied by Distance) but I was so confused of the question because I couldn’t recall taking notes on it….at first there was THAT slight second where the right formula came to mind but then I thought.”there’s no way my teacher would make that simple of a question.” So then I wrote…Force x (fg) x Height and only got 3 points out of 20…. and those 3 points was only because I got the units right… I never wanted to just hit myself in the face and tell myself about how careless I was…

  24. How about I never learn from my mistakes .. this is my third year in college and I am so late that I have too more there years left ..

  25. So i am here today and i have 2 exams after 2 days and i cant gp study cause i feel unmotivated after failing todays exam

  26. Thank you so much I just failed a math test and to be honest I had a mental breakdown and was on the edge of suicide..thank you this helped me so much

  27. A week ago i had a biology test , the day before i was really tired and overworked because i had test the whole week without mich sleep due to studying, i broke down and my mom felt bad for me and told me it was okay, it didn’t went well, now a week later i told her i had a bad grade, she shouted and said i should have done more and other stuff, i feel really bad, because i though she would kinda understand my situation, and woul know how this all made me feel even without her opinion

  28. Do you have a video on when failure is out of your control? Like when someone else fails or does something that basically destroys what you were working to achieve?

  29. Call me gullible, but I care too much of the opinion teachers and classmates have of me. Right now it's exam week for me. Three subjects are done. And ik I didn't perform well and ik when the marks are gonna be announced, even if no one cares, I'm gonna get paranoid and beat myself up for it.
    How the hell do I get out of THAT? and there's so many other reasons too. But honestly if I could forget about the eyes on me, I would have looked at failure in a different light and would have seen it as getting XP pts, like in a game.
    *sigh* now that's my idea of a dream life, not being so burdened with unnecessary worries and to be able to do what I love.
    That's not gonna happen is it?

  30. I kinda wanna die now. I failed my final maths exam and I’m probably gonna have to repeat the grade again. I’m too scared to tell my parents because I don’t know what they’ll think of me. I tried to study as much as I could and I tried my best in the exam but I still messed up. I feel like a failure…

  31. I have a failed grade. I will literally go back to the subjects again, and theyre all maths. So for me, I'm a complete failure.

  32. I failed all my exams. Yet I studied so hard. Normal people fail one or two, I failed all. I know that there is only room for improvement, a true failure is one who does not get up to try again. If I can do it, you can to.

  33. Failure is not scary , what is sad though is when you fail while everyone else in your University class succeeds .

  34. I really don’t know what to do anymore , like school has got me on the edge fr this time . Every time I stay up late and study really hard and expect to get a good grade , the opposite happens . I’m so scared that I don’t even want to know if I did wrong or right in the test. The worst thing is this only happens in maths.. I’m an A, A+ student but in maths things get really complicated . When I make a mistake, I learn from it but things just seem to never look up for me . I make mistakes again and again and again , even tho I’m trying so so hard to to good !! Some days I really just want to jump out the window or go to sleep and never wake up . Of course there are good and beautiful days , but lately school has got me feeling like hell. Like I want to die but i’m afraid to die ?

  35. I have never failed a class before college, always As and Bs, the worst I can get is a C. In college is like my whole world crushed into pieces. Those who always cheated on their exams got accepted to their dream college, I never cheated and have the same score got denied. Sometimes I feel unfair, but I can’t do the same things they did, because I know if I do I will definitely feel guilty or regret. I have lost all my confidence I used to have, and thinking I can’t just give up like this, I keep trying and keep failing, whenever I feel like I can do this and in the next minute it got crushed, I got so tired and scared, I can’t concentrate anymore. 😔

  36. I failed my exams today and am scared. My friends told me to not worry because they are more trimesters. I cried. Now am at home, am scared that my parents will notice. They are very strict. Please help me , what should I do to make them happy

  37. I failed my grade 8 first math test of the year. We were doing a mix of things, a couple included the subjects we learned last year but most was from the past 3 weeks of learning new things. I got a 15/40. I mean, not even a 20/40 score! I feel and felt like such a failure, my friends were asking me what I got on my test, then most students went by asking everyone what their grade was, showing off that they got 40/40, I made sure I got away as soon as I could before they asked me and practically shouted my score out loud. I mean, at the end of the day, my teacher told me that we'd have a meeting about getting a tutor because of the results of my test. In front of a couple of students. They got surprised, asked me my score. Anyways, long story short, we're in a new subject which is percentages, ratios, fractions, and probably more to come and I'm sure I'll fail this test too.

    My average grades:

    Art: A-
    Literature: A+
    Humanities: A
    Gym: B
    Science: B+
    Math: C's and F's…

    I mean, you can tell I like every subject but math. I find them all extremely easy, flying by each project and finishing them in the first like 3 days when they're due in a month and end up getting excellent grades, while others are complaining about those classes and raving about how easy math is while I'm stressing whether or not the teacher is going to ask me a math question related to the subject on the board.

    I mean, I study, literally like never talk to my friends during math and listen 24/7, but still end up failing. I feel like I'm at a dead end. I tried getting a tutor, ended up being embarrassed or stressed out.

  38. I'm watching this video because I just checked my grades today. I failed my math class in my first semester of college and i still don't know about my other clases and I'm very worried plus I'm terrified of telling my mom, like extremely terrified. And I'm also upset with myself because this is a basic math class to prepare me for precalculus and now that I didn't pass it, I don't know what to do…

    But this video is making me feel a little bit better though

  39. I haven’t failed but I uhhhh feel like I can’t do it. New goal: be more like Thomas the train engine (I think I can, I think I can, I know I can.)

  40. Ive failed now onto my 3rd college course maybe 4th and I'm a 3rd year. I fail all my cumulative exams. I have ADHD, and I feel like a total failure when I fail a test or class.

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