Moving Past Failure

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Failing a class isn't the end of the world, but it can sure feel like it.

Although some students do everything in their power to avoid failing grades, for others, it can be a harsh reality.

Reagan Brewer

Although some students do everything in their power to avoid failing grades, for others, it can be a harsh reality.

The idea of failing is terrifying for many but not a reality for most. Maintaining passing grades and learning the material that is being tested on the final is the main goal in any class. Teachers, students and tutors all work relentlessly throughout the semester to pass all of their classes, but this ideal isn’t always fulfilled.

Students try their hardest to get the grades they want, teachers work in and out of class to help their students and tutors go over concepts over and over again, but people still fail. There are countless reasons why students fail classes: inability to comprehend, lack of effort or even family issues. Regardless of the reason or the effort put into avoiding it, people still fail.

Madalyn Fritz is a junior this year and she has failed her Math 2 class the last three semesters. Every semester she doesn’t get a passing grade and is automatically signed up for another semester of the same class. For her, failing has become commonplace.

“It’s honestly been very disappointing,” Fritz said.

Failing a class takes a toll on the motivation and confidence of the students. There is nothing left to do but try again and hope that something changes so that their grade will be different the next time around. However, the hope isn’t always there. After not succeeding in their first five month attempt at the class, most students don’t want to keep trying as the fear of failure usually doesn’t leave their minds.

For some like Fritz, the motivation to succeed leaves before actually failing. According to the District 117 Infinite Campus, a student is required to have at least a 59.5 percent in order to pass a class. This percentage is calculated based on homework, effort, tests and other categories depending on the subject. Whether it be because of poor testing, not doing homework or lack of effort, it is impossible for some to fix their average scores dramatically enough to save their grade.

“It wasn’t really a surprise,” Fritz said. “I knew halfway through the semester that I was going to fail and I stopped caring.”

Students are left unmotivated and disinterested after only a few weeks in class. This lack of hope makes passing seem even more impossible. The less students believe in their ability, the less they try. 

Sometimes there is no way a student can fix their grade and they’re left with an F on their transcript. Failing is more common than its negative connotations imply. Sometimes it’s a lack of effort, lack of understanding or inability to learn; sometimes it’s simply because the student is disinterested. Whatever it is that causes students to fail classes, they still fail and that is something that’s hard to come back from.  

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