Reply To: I don't know how to tell my parents I failed this semester

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Emotions & Shame I don't know how to tell my parents I failed this semester Reply To: I don't know how to tell my parents I failed this semester


I’m a professor, and I can tell you that all learning is a life-long venture. Honesty with yourself regarding exactly what you are struggling with, identification of available resources, and a willingness to ask for additional help are the best place to begin, in my opinion. I understand your struggle and I can tell you from experience that keeping your shame to yourself is UNHEALTHY and UNHELPFUL for you. You need to find people who understand your challenges, and recognize that they will be able to deliver better “social support” for your shame than relatives who may not fully understand what you are going through. For example, the dialogue you are having here in this forum can “supply you” with the moral support and stamina needed to face your fear about being honest with your parents.

As far as the school work goes, you may be able to find support at the school/university in a disabilities office, or with your class Dean. In any case, you might benefit from taking fewer classes at once, or by establishing a relationship with a faculty member where you meet with them at set intervals to help you stay accountable; when you meet, be sure to get them to sign off on or “validate” a concrete list of steps that you intend to take before the next meeting. Often, in my experience, frustration begins with confusion about exactly how to begin. Like anything else, it takes experience to automatically know how to begin/reach project completion. Being honest with yourself at each step of the way, perhaps by keeping a journal noting feelings/thoughts/physical symptoms at the outset of procrastination. As a first year student, every time I opened a book, I started to feel sleepy. I now recognize that this was my limbic system dealing with anxiety! I now know that studying near my bed, first of all, probably contributed to my desire to return to sleep; exercising prior to studying might have helped with my concentration, or maybe perhaps trying to do my work in a cafe would have been a better choice, etc..

It would be helpful for you to look at “failure” moreso as a challenging beginning on a very long term endeavor!Two more key bits of advice: study topics that interest you (you’ll have more motivation), and don’t expect perfection! Knowledge is cumulative, and “points” or grades are not a reflection of your potential. Best of luck moving forward! Enjoy learning by making the experience your’s.