Reported by Natasha Chang
Do you remember what you were thinking before you received confirmation that you failed? I’ve failed Math 100, a university level pre-calculus course. I almost failed the course a second time, but I passed. Why? My attitude and mindset changed.
When I first took Math 100, I simply did not care for the course. I’m an arts student. Why do I need to know math? The poor marks I received and the difficulty of the subject made me scared. I was afraid of failing and I did fail.
Building yourself up mentally and emotionally
The second time I took the course, I wasn’t afraid of failing because I was mentally and emotionally determined to pass a course littered with numbers and graphs. Most importantly, I was finished with being scared to fail. Perhaps with luck, but definitely with hard work and help, I passed and realized that calculus isn’t as terrible as I had initially anticipated.
Scare tactics have negative effects on students: study
Earlier this year, professors David Putwain and Richard Remedios did a study suggesting that students are generally less motivated and perform badly when teachers use scare tactics on their students. The fear of failure is strongest among students as they’re stressing over grades and job prospects, but they’re also overwhelmed by the numerous courses they’re tackling.
We’re all capable of striving to be better than the person next to us, yet we think our work isn’t good enough. When a person is overwhelmed by their fear of failure, he or she ultimately sets himself or herself up for failure because they’re crippled by constant self-doubt and pessimism.