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Coping with exam failure can be very agonizing. There comes a time when you feel like you’ve done your best, and given all you’ve got to a particular task and then it fails. When your best is not good enough. It hurts so much that all you want to do is scream and ask questions about where you went wrong or what you did wrong. Sometimes you have a rough day, a bad month, and an extremely bad year, argh! And nothing ever seems to fall in place.

I’ve been there several times, and at the moment I’m still struggling with this aspect of my life . I must confess it hasn’t been easy. I cry and hurt most especially when I really gave it my all if you know what I mean.

All my life I’ve been scared of failure and maybe you’re scared too but it’s okay. We’re all scared of something . Fear to an extent is good for us because it drives us to work harder, so as to overcome what we fear from manifesting.

coping with exam failure

Fear is an important emotion that isn’t only felt by humans. Everyone on this earth has felt fear at one point in time. The most important thing is our reaction to it, realizing that it is transient and like every other thing, this too shall pass.

I’m a medical student and I’ve failed my exams several times. The study materials in medical school are very voluminous so I tell myself I’ve got one shot at this, I’ve got to give all it takes to pass my exams. Sleepless nights and days in the library, burning the candles, flipping the pages of my textbooks, several cups of coffee to make me more vigilant.

Days go by, weeks and then months. Finally comes to the day of the exam. On this day, I’m usually faced with so much anxiety no matter how much I tried to be calm. You’d think that by now I should be used to this process considering how much of exams you write in medical school but trust me, one can’t really get used to this. It’s literally the feeling of hell, for lack of no other word.

I wrote the exam and hoped for the best. On a sunny beautiful day the result comes out. I saw the mind wrecking, heart breaking letter grade (FF) or digits which denotes I didn’t make it.

It hurts. The feeling I have at that moment is a feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness. A feeling of defeat. Finally I let it all out, the soft cry which comes with the agonizing thought of the time I’ve put in. The thought of having to study the same material all over again.

Friends call me to sympathize with me. They say to me don’t worry or don’t think about it. You’ll be fine, I know you did your best. God knows best. I’m here for you if you ever need anything etc. I have very supportive parents who have never doubted me and have had my back all the way. They tell me not to give up or not to stay down for too long.

Quite a story huh? You might be going through an even more difficult or rough patch, or going through something similar but I want to tell you you’re not alone in this.

Failing an exam is not the end of the world

Exam failures

I came across this words a while back ‘THE SUN WILL RISE AND I WILL TRY AGAIN’ and in these words, I saw hope, resilience, not quitting, not giving up and fighting.
In this life we live, we have some troubles, many troubles, there are stumbling blocks every now and then. Life in itself is a battle.

When failure strikes, there’s this burning sensation and the feeling of being powerless. You feel so much worries and anxiety, you feel overwhelmed, and it seems you can’t hold out for much longer and will breakdown anytime soon. It’s sometimes feels like a repeated pattern of having to deal with negative experiences, the tough challenges, and frustrations that comes with it all.

Coping with exam failure can be very difficult

never give up

Should we just give up and stay down or look for that glimmer of hope and pick ourselves up using the last strength we’ve got to fight it till the very end.

Over the years, I’ve learnt that failures and setbacks are a part of life’s journey and you’d be too lucky to live your life without failing at anything not even once but what is important is our attitude, how much we learnt from it and how we strive to look past it and be better.

Failing has taught me that overcoming these challenges is what makes life meaningful. I mourn and weep but I’ve always decided not to stay down but rather get back up and keep fighting for whatever it is I was working on.

Hard times will come to us all. What matters is how we deal with these times and the effect it has on us. I believe no problem is as great as it first seems. When failure strikes, keeping your head up, not staying down, getting back up and striving hard even if it’ll take a longer time than it should is what defines us. Your resilience, the faith that things will get back on track is what matters.

Is there a voice saying I won’t give up no matter how hard it may be or how difficult it may seem, then listen to that voice. If that voice isn’t there which I doubt, then create it for yourself because trust me you’ll always need it.

The truth is, it’s not going to be easy but you have to do it for yourself because that’s the only hope we’ve got in this race called life.

‘LORD GIVE ME THE STRENGTH TO EVERYDAY WHAT I HAVE TO DO’ is the mantra that helps me through it all.


Thanks for reading.

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