I Failed a Semester of College But I Wasn't a Failure

When it seems like there are a million things to do and no way to successfully do them all, sometimes we find ourselves making mistakes as we juggle everything. We slip up. We have our low points and sometimes we fail. But that doesn't make us failures.

This series is a part of the Hindsight series. If you don't know what that is, here's a brief summary:

The Hindsight series consists of guest posts from various bloggers sharing their stories on Bloomly about any personal experience that they might have encountered that reflects personal growth, self-improvement, and/or struggles with mental health. The Hindsight series is about looking back on experiences that shaped who we are and have helped us grow, which we only see now with hindsight.

Learn more: About the Hindsight Series 
More Hindsight posts: Read the Series

Here's Natalia's story of how she found herself failing a semester of college, how she reacted, and how she managed to get past it.

College alone is a very stressful time in our lives. We’re so worried about staying up to
date with readings/assignments, making friends in classes, and join sororities or clubs so we
avoid being a social outcast. However, it gets a little trickier when you throw work into the mix.

For me, balancing school and work was impossible. If I did well at school it was probably
because I skipped work the night before. If my paycheck was amazing, it was because I missed a few classes in order to pick up more shifts. For me, it felt as I was juggling too much and I was stuck between choosing work or school, there was no in between.

Though juggling school and work wasn’t for me, it definitely showed me how to get my
priorities in check. When choosing between school and work, I always preferred going to work than going to school (mainly because of the paycheck.)

In choosing work over school, it led my grades to spiral downwards. My first semester was easy and I ended up passing with a 3.5 GPA, so when I found out I failed an ENTIRE semester it led to me feeling like a failure. However, I later found that just because I failed most of my courses doesn’t mean I was a failure.

My first semester was easy, so when I found out I failed an ENTIRE semester it made me feel like a failure. 

In the moment, I avoided telling my parents at all cost because parents tend to add pressure and stress when we make mistakes. So, I decided it was time to make a plan and take it into my own hands. I didn’t quit my job, I picked up enough shifts to save up money for summer courses. Because it was a retail job, that meant I didn’t earn enough to take 4 summer courses and FAFSA doesn’t cover summer tuition. Thankfully, my parents were able to put in the remainder of my tuition (though they did think it was to graduate faster.)

It sucks lying to your parents, but seeing yourself as a disappointment in their eyes sucks
even more. I did, eventually, tell them I failed a semester and surprisingly they understood my position. It was second semester of college but my first-time juggling school and work and they reminded me that I’m still learning, it’s okay to make mistakes.

I realized that I'm still learning and it's okay to make mistakes. 

When my summer term began, I ended things with my job. I devoted myself to my studies, whether it meant scheduling time in my schedule for a study session or making an appointment with my professor to discuss the curriculum, I was never going to let myself fail again. I had my fun, I did the work/school thing and wasn’t prepared for the struggles that came between working and focusing on my studies.

So how did I make my epic comeback?

I set detailed goals for myself per term. My goals could be “earn a 3.5 GPA for Fall term by making flashcards and using Quizlet” and that way I knew what I had to do and what my preferred method of studying is in order to achieve my goal. Another great way I made my goals was to stay organized and on top of my priorities. I suggest you grab an agenda, decorate it with different markers, pens, highlighters, stickers, etc. and make it so you HAVE to go back to it. This was a must-do for me because it reminded me of all the important tasks I had to do for the day.

And it worked. Not only was I succeeding again in class, but it felt amazing once I completed my goal and I even took it upon myself to reward myself every time I did a good job.

It felt amazing once I completed my goal.

Right now, I am in my Junior year at Florida International University earning my B.A. in Communications. I graduated on time with my A.A in pre-law because I refused to let myself fail. Yes, I had failed an entire semester or college, but it was okay. Life woke me up and gave me the reality check I needed to get it together. Sometimes we have to make mistakes in order to learn. This was one mistake I was glad I made because not only do I now enjoy going to school, but I’m also a great student again.

Life woke me up and gave me the reality check I needed to get it together.

If this is you right now, about to fail all of your classes because you’re going through something, you are NOT a failure. You will figure it out and it will make you stronger than you’ve ever been. Just remember that things take time and we have to take life one day at a time.

I Failed a Semester of College But I Wasn't a Failure
Natalia Vargas
About the Author: Natalia Vargas
Natalia began her blog, www.nataliav.com, earlier this summer and is devoted to lifestyle, college, and occasionally beauty posts. Currently, she is attending Florida International University hoping to pursue a B.A. in Communications. Aside from blogging, she is a staff writer for Her Campus FIU chapter and works part time as a Marketing assistant in a small office. During her free time you can find her dog-watching, going to Target, or binge watching Netflix! 


  1. Love this! I pretty much failed my junior year of college due to severe anxiety. It took me a long time to come to terms with this but now I am in my senior year and kicking school's butt! Just because you fail a few classes does not make you a failure. Congratulations, Natalia!

    Lauren // http://laurensjourney.com

  2. Hello.. this article really put me to ease. I am pretty sure I failed my entire semester this year as I wait for my final grades to come through. The term ‘fail’ really got to me. Thank you so much for this article, it really showed me that it’s not just me!