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Forums / Young people / Failed final year of uni, disappointing my parents

Topic: Failed final year of uni, disappointing my parents

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. nat_97
    nat_97 avatar
    3 posts
    30 September 2021

    I'm a 24 years old university student who has been studying graphic design for 3 years.

    Lockdown was very hard for me mentally last year. I struggled to handle the study load and almost failed all units by not meeting deadlines. I was optimistic for this year to improve myself, decreased the study load and met deadlines. I felt like I was going well until the second semester rolled into lockdown mode. I was doing an internship along with two units and I let my studies slip, skipped classes for fear of judgement and missed deadlines. Now I am a month away from finishing my units, but I already know I have failed a core unit that is equivalent to 2 semesters.

    I haven't told my parents yet, but my mother has already expressed her disappointment in me if I don't graduate this year because I will be a burden on the family for not becoming independent at my age. My options are either to exist the course under a lower degree, Bachelor of Design Studies (although it is not recommended if I want to pursue a professional career related to my degree) or repeat another year to complete my course, Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication).

    I am honestly just sick and tired of University life and just want to use my skills to work, but I fear maybe I'm just running away from my problems and won't be able to find a job by existing with a lower-ranked bachelor degree.
    I feel like such a failure and embarrassment to my family and feel like I'm never going to improve as a human being with my negative mindset. Someone, please advise how I could move on from here?

  2. james1
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    james1 avatar
    2952 posts
    30 September 2021 in reply to nat_97

    Hey nat_97,

    Welcome! I'm really sorry to hear you found lockdown really challenging and it affected your studies. I understand it's caused some issues for how you proceed and it sounds quite stressful, and has put you into a bit of a negative spin.

    My suggestion may be a bit challenging to put into practice, but I think it is something that worked for me in my mid 20's (I'm now 29, about to turn 30! uh oh!), because I also had trouble dealing with work expectations put on me by myself and my parents.

    Basically, i would suggest that you try to put aside what your parents want and expect, and just ask yourself which course you would actually want to complete. 1 year can feel like a long time, but it'll be over before you know it. It sounds like you chose to do Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) instead of Design Studies due to the job prospects - is this reason still true for you? If so, as long as you can manage the year financially or can be supported (like so many other people your age, so you are not alone at all in this), there is a strong argument to continue down that path and really give it your best shot.

    In my case, my parents wanted me to do economics and commerce, graduate after 4 years and go into finance. I hated finance and loved philosophy, so I did economics and arts with the plan to graduate after 5 years. As it turned out, by not listening to them, I ended up doing subjects I quite liked, did well without the pressure of them caring about my arts subjects, did well in my graduate interview, and dropped my arts degree altogether just to start working earlier. Which is basically to say: you'll give yourself the best opportunities by doing what you want to do, not what others want you to do, and doing them well.

    You sound like you hold yourself to a relatively high standard and want to succeed, so I think it's worthwhile giving yourself the opportunity to do well.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. chadicha
    Community Champion
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    chadicha avatar
    44 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to nat_97
    Hey Nat, I really understand you. I failed one of my subjects and I've got to add another year on for a highly competitive degree to get into med school. This was a hard time for me just because of the high pressure and expectation but please understand this setback will actually work out for your best if you let it. Yes it's hard to swallow now, but it just shows your real and we are in a pandemic so of course your mental health is going to cop it and your studies will be affected. Employers are genuinely going to understand this, and I've had to swallow this myself. I think for me as well because I'm in the same boat my grades haven't been high because of so much in my mental/personal space, I've decided I'm going to focus more on building my portfolio and just showing I am a well-rounded, real yet still capable person. It will honestly work in your favour. If I were you I would 100% look at getting involved in projects, especially voluntary ones and give your all to that because 100% if you build an amazing portfolio compiled with your passion and true capabilities (not just grades which can be so limiting), you would probably have a greater chance at getting that dream work you want. Real life and hands-on experience is soo valuable and will grow your confidence in the field so much more too. You having okay marks with a degree and some voluntary work/ starting your own project could possibly even lead you into long-term employment depending who you do it with. You are probably soo talented so don't let a degree make you feel like its worth less, instead let it fuel you to tap into that creative driven side even more, who knows how many doors this could lock for you! Best of luck x
  4. chadicha
    Community Champion
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    44 posts
    9 October 2021 in reply to chadicha
    I meant imagine how many doors this could *unlock for you, sorry !

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