Essays Learning Support

Dealing with your first results

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During your time at university – just as in normal life – there will be some periods that you will experience disappointment. First assignment results can sometimes feel a bit disappointing, but the ways in which people respond to these negative feelings can vary massively.  The positive actions we take in response to any setbacks are what help us to truly grow and learn. They can help develop your resilience as well as improving your chances at getting a result you’re happy with next time round.

After you’ve experienced a disappointment or a setback, there are a few perfectly natural reactions, and it might be helpful to understand them, to help you to recognise and move past them in the best possible way.

A common reaction to disappointment is to start down a rabbit hole of self-blame. First of all, be kind to yourself and understand that it’s very difficult to get something right first time around! Try to recognise that one bad result doesn’t define you, and there are always opportunities improve for the future.    

You may also be tempted to withdraw from your friends to spend hours studying for the next piece of coursework or exam, possibly leaving you feeling burnt out and lonely. If you speak your friends and coursemates, you’ll probably find that you’re not the only one experiencing these feelings of disappointment, and this helps make sure these feelings don’t build up.

Our automatic responses can include ignoring the problem, which may lead to repeating the same mistakes and experiencing these feelings again, further down the line. A more helpful approach to dealing with disappointment can be to try to face the issue head on, and there’s lots of support available to help you to work through what you could have done differently and implement these strategies for your next assignment or exam. The feedback on your assignments is there to help you in achieving your full potential, so it’s a great start to read this carefully and make detailed notes.

As well as your friends and coursemates, there are other people you can speak to that can help you after a disheartening result. You might want to arrange a meeting with the person who marked your coursework to get more detailed feedback, and gain a more clear understanding of what to change next time. Remember you can also chat to your academic advisor, peer support or PASS leaders about any struggles you may be facing with your workload in general. They should all be able to give you some practical tips and advice for going forward in your academic career.

If you’ve identified any areas for improvement, take a look at the My Learning Essentials workshops. These include both online and in person training for a wide range of academic skills.

If you’re still stuck on where to go or who to contact first, have a look at the Student Support website. On here you’ll find lots of useful information as well as a directory of all the university services available to you.

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