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So You Just Flunked Out of School.

What do you do Now?

Harold Robert Meyer /The ADD Resource Center  http://www.addrc.org/ 12/15/2023

Dealing with the news: How to tell your parents about flunking out of school

Flunking out of school can be a devastating blow, filled with emotions and uncertainty about the future. One of the first challenges you may face is figuring out how to break the news to your parents. It’s essential to start by finding the right time and place to have this conversation with your parents. Choose a calm and private setting to have an open and honest discussion without distractions. It’s crucial to be prepared for their initial reaction, ranging from disappointment to anger. Remember that their response comes from a place of concern and love, even if it doesn’t feel that way.“

They also fear, “What do I tell the neighbors, my friends and relatives?” Will they think it is bad parenting, which makes it hard to be objective right now? That’s their issue.

Please be kind to your parents if they say things they don’t really mean. It is not uncommon for someone with ADHD to have told them that they are doing well throughout a term and then suddenly flunk out. If this happens to you, try to figure out how to deal with it.

When discussing your academic situation, be honest about your failures and take responsibility for your actions. Avoid making excuses or blaming others, which will only hinder the conversation. Lying will only make things worse. Instead, focus on explaining the reasons behind your academic struggles and what you have learned from the experience. This will demonstrate maturity and a commitment to personal growth. Make sure you have a plan for what you will do. The longer you wait to make and execute your plan, the harder it will be to institute it. Start ‘yesterday.” This is not a time to take a vacation or hang out with friends. Make sure your “story” about flunking out coincides with what your parent (s) say to others.

Here is some advice from The Silhouettes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysKhbaLyIFw

Coping with failure: Embracing the opportunity to make the best of the situation.

Flunking out of school can feel like the end of the world, but it’s important to remember that failure is a natural part of life. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, embrace this setback as an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

Reflect on your academic journey and identify the factors that led to your failure. Were there any personal or external circumstances that impacted your performance? Understanding these factors can help you avoid similar pitfalls in the future. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from a trusted mentor or counselor who can provide valuable insights and support during this challenging time.

While feeling discouraged is natural, shift your mindset and focus on the positives. Use this setback as motivation to prove yourself and overcome obstacles. Surround yourself with positive influences and seek opportunities for personal and professional development. Remember to be an active advocate for yourself and keep them informed.

Exploring alternative paths: Considering options beyond traditional education.

Flunking out of school doesn’t mean the end of your educational journey. There are various alternative paths and opportunities to explore beyond traditional education. Consider the following options that can help you continue learning and growing:

1.   Vocational Training: Explore vocational training programs that offer hands-on skills development in specific industries. These programs often provide practical training and can lead to rewarding careers in fields such as healthcare, technology, and skilled trades.

2.   Online Education: Take advantage of the vast array of online courses and certifications available. Online learning platforms offer flexibility and allow you to learn at your own pace. This can be a great way to gain new skills or even complete a degree program from the comfort of your own home.

3.   Apprenticeships: Look into apprenticeship programs that combine on-the-job training and classroom instruction. This hands-on approach can be valuable to gain experience and earn a living while continuing your education.

4.   Entrepreneurship: Consider starting your own business or pursuing a freelance career. When you have ADHD, This path requires determination, creativity, and a willingness to take risks, but it can lead to personal fulfillment and financial independence.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to education and success. Explore different options and choose a path that aligns with your interests, strengths, and long-term goals.

Finding a job: Tips for job hunting after flunking out of school

Finding employment should become a top priority. While the job market is  competitive, there are strategies you can employ to enhance your chances of securing a job:

1.   Reflect on Transferable Skills: Consider the skills you have developed in school, such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. Highlight these transferable skills on your resume and during interviews to demonstrate your value to potential employers.

2.   Network: Reach out to friends, family, and professionals in your desired industry. Attend networking events and join professional organizations to expand your network and gain insights into job opportunities.

3.   Gain Relevant Experience: Look for internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities that align with your career goals. This hands-on experience can make you more marketable to employers and provide valuable insights into your chosen field.

4.   Customize Your Resume: Tailor your resume to each job application by highlighting relevant skills and experiences. Use action verbs, quantify achievements, and showcase your ability to learn and adapt.

5.   Prepare for Interviews: Research the company, practice common interview questions and prepare thoughtful answers highlighting your strengths and addressing concerns about your academic history. Showcase your enthusiasm, determination, and commitment to personal growth.

Remember, finding a job may take time and perseverance. Stay positive, be proactive, and consider temporary or entry-level positions that can serve as stepping stones toward your long-term career goals.

Building valuable skills: Utilizing your time to develop new skills and interests

Flunking out of school can be an opportunity to invest time in building valuable skills that will benefit you in any future endeavor. Or it can be a time when you only see your failure and act as one.  

Here are some suggestions for skill development:

1.   Online Courses: Explore online platforms that offer various courses in various subjects. From coding to digital marketing, there are countless opportunities to learn new skills and enhance your knowledge base.

2.   Personal Development: Invest time in personal growth by reading books, listening to podcasts, and attending seminars or workshops. Focus on developing time management, communication, and emotional intelligence skills.

3.   Volunteer Work: Consider volunteering for organizations that align with your interests or career aspirations. Volunteering allows you to give back to the community, develop valuable skills, and expand your network.

4.   Freelancing: If you have a particular skill or talent, consider freelancing to gain experience and build a portfolio. This can be a stepping stone towards launching your business or securing employment in your field of interest.

5.   Internships: Look for apprenticeship programs offering hands-on experience in your chosen field. These opportunities can provide valuable insights and connections that may lead to future job offers.

Remember, the skills you develop during this time can be valuable assets in any future career. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow, and consider how these skills can be applied to various industries or entrepreneurial ventures.

Seeking support: Connecting with resources and organizations that assist individuals in similar situations

Flunking out of school can feel isolating, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Resources and organizations can provide support and guidance during this challenging time. Consider the following options:

1.   Academic Support Services: Contact your former school’s educational support services or counseling center. They may offer resources and guidance to help you navigate your options and develop a plan for the future.

2.   Mentorship Programs: Seek out mentorship programs or organizations that connect individuals with similar challenges with mentors who can provide guidance and support.

3.   Support Groups: Join support groups or online communities where you can connect with others who have experienced academic setbacks. Sharing experiences and hearing stories of success can provide motivation and a sense of camaraderie.

4.   Career Centers: Utilize career centers or job placement services to assist with resume writing, interview preparation, and job search strategies. These centers often have connections with employers open to hiring individuals with non-traditional educational backgrounds.

5.   Write Articles: These should be in areas of your job interest. When you go on an interview, you have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that helps you stand out.

Remember, seeking support is not a sign of weakness but rather a proactive step towards finding success and happiness beyond traditional education. Surround yourself with individuals who believe in your potential and can provide guidance during this transitional period.

Creating a plan for the future: Setting goals and mapping out a new path forward.

Flunking out of school can be a turning point in your life, allowing you to reassess your goals and create a new plan for the future. Here are some steps to help you get started:

1.   Reflect on Your Passions and Interests: Take the time to identify what truly excites and motivates you. Consider your hobbies, talents, and subjects that you find fascinating. These insights can guide you toward a path that aligns with your passions.

2.   Set SMART Goals: Create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that will help you stay focused and motivated. Break down your larger goals into smaller, actionable steps you can pursue daily.

3.   Research Your Options: Explore different career paths, industries, and educational opportunities that align with your interests. Conduct thorough research to understand the requirements, potential job prospects, and necessary steps to achieve your goals.

4.   Develop a Plan: Once you have identified your goals and researched your options, develop a detailed plan outlining the necessary actions, timelines, and resources to reach your objectives. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your future endeavors.

5.   Seek Guidance: Connect with mentors, career counselors, or professionals in your desired field who can provide valuable insights and guidance. Their expertise can help you navigate challenges and make informed decisions.

Remember, creating a plan for the future is an ongoing process. Be open to adjusting your goals and strategies as you gain new insights and experiences. Stay focused, remain adaptable, and celebrate small victories along the way.

Overcoming setbacks: Strategies for bouncing back from failure and staying motivated.

Experiencing failure can be disheartening, but developing strategies for overcoming setbacks and staying motivated is crucial. Here are some tips to help you navigate this challenging period, which will keep you motivated and provide a sense of progress.

Stay Persistent: Persistence is vital when facing setbacks. Keep pushing forward, even when progress feels slow, or obstacles arise. Remember that success often comes from perseverance and resilience. Yes, it won’t be easy, but start immediately.

Learning from the experience: Reflecting on what led to flunking out and using it as a learning opportunity

Flunking out of school can be a valuable learning experience if you take the time to reflect on what led to this outcome. Reflecting on your academic journey can help you identify patterns, make necessary changes, and avoid similar mistakes in the future. Here are some questions to guide your reflection:

1.   What were the main factors that contributed to your academic struggles?

2.   Were there any personal or external circumstances that impacted your performance?

3.   Did you have effective study habits and time management skills?

4.   Were you engaged and motivated in your chosen field of study?

5.   Did you seek help when you faced difficulties?

6.   Were there any distractions or negative influences that hindered your academic progress?

7.   Did you clearly understand your goals and the steps needed to achieve them?

Once you have identified the factors that led to your academic struggles, use this knowledge as a foundation for personal growth and improvement. Create a plan to address these areas and develop new habits that will support your future success.

Conclusion: Embracing a new chapter and finding success beyond traditional education

Flunking out of school may feel like the end of the world, but it’s important to remember that it is just one chapter in your life story. Embrace this new chapter as an opportunity for growth, resilience, and self-discovery. By telling your parents about your academic struggles with honesty and empathy, you can begin the process of healing and moving forward.

Coping with failure requires a shift in mindset, embracing the opportunity to make the best of the situation. Explore alternative paths beyond traditional education, such as vocational training, online courses, apprenticeships, or entrepreneurship. Develop valuable skills to benefit you in any future endeavor and seek support from resources and organizations that assist individuals in similar situations.

Create a plan for the future by setting goals, mapping out your path, and staying motivated. Overcome setbacks by adopting a growth mindset, practicing self-compassion, and surrounding yourself with supportive people. Reflect on your experience, learn from your mistakes, and use this setback as a learning opportunity for personal and academic growth. Make sure that you discuss your aspirations and goals with an ADHD Coach or other HCP.

Remember, success is not limited to traditional education. Embrace a new chapter in your life and find success in alternative paths that align with your passions and interests. With determination, perseverance, and a positive mindset, you can overcome this setback and create a bright future for yourself. The hardest part is starting. If you think you can do this, you can. If you feel you can’t, then you can’t.

Harold Robert Meyer /The ADD Resource Center  

http://www.addrc.org/ 12/16/2023

For more than 30 years, Harold and the ADD Resource Center have been providing compassionate guidance, ADHD and Life coaching and quality information to children, individuals, couples, and healthcare providers, demystifying and destigmatizing ADHD.For more than 30 years, Harold and the ADD Resource Center have been providing compassionate guidance, ADHD and Life coaching and quality information to children, individuals, couples, and healthcare providers, demystifying and destigmatizing ADHD.

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