How to cope with disappointment

Sophia Lamberton 9 March 2022
Person sat on a bench at a train station, looking disappointed

Life can be full of surprises. Check out our advice for when those surprises are more like disappointments.

Disappointment can hit you when you least expect it. We've put together some advice for coping while you’re at uni, so you’re prepared for when disappointment occurs.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is the key to dealing with any disappointing setbacks you face during your studies. For example, if you didn’t achieve the grade you wanted for one of your assignments, you should set aside some time to read the feedback.

Before you start planning, have a chat with your tutor and ask to discuss your results. They’ll be able to show you areas of your work where you could improve. 

When planning, be realistic with your goals. Break things down into small steps so that you’re not overwhelmed. Start by thinking about what went wrong and what you can take away from your tutor’s feedback. Then develop a strategy to make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes on your next assignment. 

Make a to-do list and set yourself a timeframe for meeting your targets. Having a to-do list means you’ll be able to tick things off as you go along, which can be a satisfying way to move towards your goals.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Although it can seem difficult at the time, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. We’re not superheroes and we can’t get everything right all the time. 

Take time to check in and look after yourself. For example, you could treat yourself to lunch at your favourite café, or a movie night with some ice cream.

Talk to someone about your issues, as this will help you see things from a different perspective and reassure you. Plus, they might be able to give you some useful advice.

Stay positive

Our top tip is to try and keep a positive attitude. It might feel tricky at times, but remember to not let what’s happened stand in the way of you reaching your goals. 

Don’t look at disappointments as failures. See them as an opportunity to build your resilience; that way you’ll be more prepared to deal with any major disappointments you face in the future.

Remember that setbacks like these are opportunities for growth and learning. When things don’t turn out the way you expected, like having to re-sit an exam, see it as an opportunity to learn from what went wrong.

You never know; what can seem like a setback or a failure at the time might actually be a blessing in disguise. The optional module that you didn’t get a place for might not not have been as interesting as you originally thought. 

How do you cope with disappointment? Join our student panel today and tell us. You’ll get 1000 reward points for signing up.

Sophia Lamberton 9 March 2022