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The 5 Stages of Grief of Telling Your Parents You Failed a Class

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving, which means it’s also time for students who missed the withdraw option to accept that they will not pass that one class they hate. Even worse than that, they have to mentally prepare for the shitstorm their parents will drop on their heads the minute they get back for Thanksgiving break.

 

Denial: “No. No, no, no. This can’t be happening. I turned in that writing assignment into Blackboard at 11:59, it should have posted. Maybe the system lagged. Maybe the professor decided to close it a minute early. Yeah, that has to be it. There is absolutely no way this could be happening to me!”

 

Anger: “I put in so much work! I pulled 8 all-nighters for this piece of shit class, and I’m still going to fail! I emailed the entire class asking for notes for the 6 lectures I skipped, and no one helped me out! How dare they? How dare they not find it in the kindness of their heart to inconvenience themselves and help a complete stranger!? Now my parents aren’t gonna let me split the wishbone on Thanksgiving!”

 

Bargaining: “Maybe if I give the professor some of my swipes, he’ll throw me a 20-point curve. Tenured professors must be dying to eat at Shafer. Maybe if I turn in that essay that was due last month with twice as many pages and three more citations he can cut me some slack. I mean, that’ll be a two-page paper. That shows effort, right?”

 

Depression: “Fuck my life, seriously. I’m gonna tell my parents I’m going to fail this course, they’ll bite my head off, they won’t get me that new set of speakers for my Civic they promised me, and my life will be over. It’s impossible to come back from this. Why do I even try? A history course that covers the exact same material my senior year class did in high school will be the death of me. I should see if Hardee’s is hiring.”

 

Acceptance: “It’s okay. It’s going to be ok. I didn’t pass the class this semester, but there’s always next semester. This is actually a great learning experience for me, on how not to pass a class. I experienced failure and I’m better for it. It just cost my parents a couple thousand dollars. But I’m sure they’ll totally understand.”

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