Overcoming Disappointment in Exams

It is normal to feel disappointed when you don’t achieve what you had hoped to. Unfortunately, things do not always…

It is normal to feel disappointed when you don’t achieve what you had hoped to. Unfortunately, things do not always go the way we hope and imagine, but it is important to ensure you do not let it define you or allow yourself to doubt your capability.

As humans, it is normal to dwell on the negatives – it is something that most of us are guilty of. But more often than not, when you really think about it, the positives will often outweigh the negatives. Do not forget all of the great things you have achieved. Of course, I appreciate this may be easier said than done…

Don’t compare yourself to others

Disappointment means different things to everyone, whether it is not achieving the grade you had hoped to, failing an exam, or not getting into the university you had aimed for. Whatever it is, your feelings are valid.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is to not compare yourself to others. Everyone is different and everyone is on their own journey, so comparing yourself to someone else is pointless, unproductive, and demotivating. One of the most important things you can do is to focus on yourself, give yourself time to feel these feelings, and then pick yourself up.

Be resilient

Resilience is a necessity. Having setbacks is okay, but how we deal with them is what defines us. Having a setback does not mean you need to give up, perhaps it means you need to approach your goal from a different angle. Reflecting on what went wrong can help you make a plan for what you need to change going forward.

If what you are striving for is something you are determined to achieve, then do not let this setback knock your confidence. Remain confident in yourself that you can pick yourself up. You are not defined by an exam result.

Bear in mind though, that sometimes what we think we want may not be right for us, and this is okay. Maybe this is a chance to explore a new path you hadn’t thought of before.

Talk to your close ones

Another piece of advice I have is for you to speak with your friends and family, a problem shared is a problem halved. Although it may seem difficult now, after speaking to your loved ones I am sure you will feel better – you don’t have to keep everything to yourself. Don’t forget, you always have your personal tutor and lecturers to speak to as well, who are all here to help and support you.

Do activities you enjoy

Moreover, put your energy into activities you enjoy. Find a way to lift your spirits and be kind to yourself. A great way to take your mind off of things is to exercise and get that release of endorphins. Alternatively, do some baking, go to the cinema, go for a walk etc – whatever it is, take time out for yourself and let off some steam.

On a last note, remember to not see disappointment as a failure, but as a learning curve!

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