Post #32 Part I: You Failed an Engineering Course
What to do if you failed an engineering course? This post may apply to you at some point during your engineering career. Please read it as many times as necessary. I failed my fair share of engineering courses yet I still thrived in a professional career. Trust me when I tell you it is not as bad as you think.
The First Step
Do not, and I repeat, do not beat yourself up. Getting down on yourself will accomplish nothing. It will make you feel miserable and it’s a vicious cycle. Instead of comparing yourself to others and instead of having regrets, how about you tell yourself you made some mistakes. How about you ask yourself, “How can this turn into a good thing?” Many engineering students failed an engineering course this semester. It happens more often than you know (please read Post #5). If you can truly accept the fact that you won’t always perform to your standards, you will bounce back very quickly.
The Second Step
You should always be aware of your course pre-requisites. If you failed an engineering course that is a necessary pre-requisite to another, you must go see your academic advisor asap (and read Post #22). Chances are your future schedule is based around your pre-requisite courses. Please have a discussion with your advisor now so you know how your future schedule may change. Even if you failed an engineering course that is not a pre-requisite to another, you still need to see your advisor. This is especially important if you plan to be away for a semester (on a co-op or internship). It is also extremely important as some engineering courses are not offered every semester. With your advisor’s help, it is your job to understand which courses you will be taking and when.
Ask yourself why you failed. And be completely honest. Listen here! It is easy to get caught up in distractions, drama, complacency or lack of motivation. There are so many things going on in your life. Sometimes these things creep up and take over before you realize your grades are suffering. You’re only human so give yourself a break. Perhaps you went through some tough health issues or had a bad breakup. Or maybe your family needed you back home. I’m sure you can reflect on how you could have done things differently. That’s good, because now you can learn from this experience after admitting your faults.
My next post will contain more suggestions on what to do after you failed an engineering course. What I’ve suggested today is first, do not make yourself feel bad. Beating up on yourself is counterproductive. Next, you must meet with your academic advisor to discuss how your future curriculum may change. Third, it is vital you understand why you failed. After you really get it, you’re ready to read post #33.