Overcome the Depression of Failing Waec
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a psychiatrist. What I am going to do here is share how I got out my depression when was trying to get past Waec and Jamb. So the advice you will get here is non-medical please and should never replace that of a qualified medical practitioner.
Ok, it’s time to check your result WAEC or JAMB.
Your heart is beating fast and your stomach is forming knots pleeease let this be it. You look: your heart sinks it’s not the result you want. Again.
It’s a P in Maths or a P in English or you scored below 200 in Jamb or you scored above 200 but did not meet the required cut off mark.
Or you’ve gotten done in by your school of choice cut off mark. And it’s not your first nor second time. Not again…
The pain, sadness and despair that you feel are indescribable except you have gone through it you cannot understand.
But I do because I wrote WAEC a few times and JAMB as well. So if this is where you are right now I totally get you.
So first and foremost how do you pull yourself out of this feeling of failure, emptiness and worthlessness; this depression so to speak.
And then how do you get back into battle mode again. Because you don’t have a choice you have to go back. Read on:
Let’s start by discussing depression in general. This is important because understanding what is happing to you will help you get out of the situation faster.
What is depression?
It’s a mood disorder characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and loss of interest in performing your regular day to day activities.
There are various types of depression some are severe enough for you to require seeing a doctor.
I have linked over to an article here for you to read. The article covers the various types of depression and can help you decide to an extent if you should actually be seeing a doctor.
Please do read it for your sake or for the sake of another who may need help.
Causes of Depression
A variety of factors can cause depression below are the common ones:
- Genetics: A history of depression in the family
- A traumatic event: in our case failure of WAEC or JAMB, death of a loved one, job loss etc
- Hormonal changes: for example pregnancy/ menstrual cycles
- Medication prescribed by a doctor for a condition: some medication you may be prescribed can make you feel depressed as a side effect.
What are the signs of depression?
Most kinds of depression have similar symptoms. Below is a broad list:
- You feel sad miserable and hopeless
- You are no longer interested in normal day-to-day activities
- You lack energy and are constantly feel tired
- You struggle to sleep well
- You withdraw from society
- In extreme cases, you may begin to think of suicide as an option
Now the depression we are interested in is that caused by a traumatic event. It is also known as situational depression.
Our situation here is our struggle to get pass WAEC or JAMB.
The good news about situational depression is that once you can manage or find a solution to what is causing you to feel depressed you will recover.
A little bit of emphasis on a solution because obviously if the problem lingers you may not come out of your depression. Or you may have a reoccurring episode.
Also, worthy of note is that a solution may also be acceptance of a situation what I mean here is for example in the case of the death of a loved one.
Obviously you cannot get that person back so the solution at that point in time is making peace with the fact that the person has gone.
Now that we’ve gotten a basic understanding of depression, let’s get down to the specifics of how to tackle depression caused by struggling to make WAEC or JAMB.
There are three phases and the phases all interlink or work together
The first phase is acknowledgement. Admitting to yourself and to the world that you didn’t make it again. This is a very important first step to lifting yourself out of your depression.
Admitting that you failed is the first step to fixing and getting out it. Pretending that everything is ok when it’s not will only make you sink deeper into despair.
Refusing to acknowledge is usually a way you might choose to deal with the pain. It really, really hurts I know.
Here are a few examples of how you may refuse to acknowledge what is happing to you:
You may lie to your family or to your friends. You may say something like: I haven’t seen the results or even say that you had a good result.
You may refuse to talk about it at all.
Unfortunately, this method of dealing with the problem does not make the problem go away.
Sooner or later you’re going to have to face it and the more you run the harder it will be for you to fix it. Essentially you will become more depressed.
So, you need to face it head-on. You admit to yourself first and then to all the other party’s concerns which could be your parents or family or whoever is helping foot your bill what has happened.
Obviously you may take some bashing. But it’s to be expected and it’s better you face it as soon as possible because it takes one problem of your back.
Look at this way until they know you will carry two huge problems on your back. Once they do know you become free of one.
Now going through the acknowledgement phase will hurt badly and you will need a safe outlet for the strong horrible emotions you are feeling. But I repeat embracing and passing through this stage will help you bounce back faster.
Below are some safe outlets:
Crying: alone or with someone or people. And it doesn’t matter if you are a guy or a girl. Crying has a powerful healing effect on the mind, heart and body. And you should use it without shame.
Exercising: almost any form of exercise will do: walking, running, lifting weights etc So long as it gets the blood flowing. After some time, you will start feeling some relief. Try it!
Writing down how you feel: Pour it all out. You can get a diary and write exactly how you are feeling don’t hold back.
And any other safe outlet that works for you. You may wonder why I say safe outlet. To help explain let give me give you examples of unsafe outlets:
Smoking and Drinking
Spending hours on the internet ( Instagram, Facebook etc)
Gaming and Gambling
Clubbing and Drugs
Staying out late at boy/girlfriend(s) place to avoid thinking (imagine getting a girl pregnant or becoming pregnant during this crisis period of your life?)
You get the idea. If you are doing any of the above to escape your problem you are only making things worse for yourself.
Your acknowledgement phase may last from a few days to a few weeks or even months. But those dark emotions will eventually go.
They may be with you every day at first then beginning to fade off and return unexpectedly for no reason or may be triggered by someone taking about Jamb/ WAEC or hearing that others around have succeeded and will be leaving you behind.
Feeling low again from time to time is normal and in any of these circumstances simply use a safe outlet for your emotions.
Next, you need to do things that will help you heal and regain trust in yourself and your abilities
This should be done at the same time that you are acknowledging your failure.
For example in my case after a crying episode, I would pray. In fact, while crying I would pray. When I was done I would feel better and stronger and ready to fight 💪 back.
There are many other ways:
- Motivational movies, songs, motivational tapes find below one of my favourites
- Going back to study (yes after a good cry I would read with aggression)
- Have someone or people who will be there to encourage you. It could be your parent, guardian or mentor even a good friend.
- Or any other means that works for you.
The goal is to help you start rebuilding your self-confidence and to remind yourself that you are cable and you can and will overcome this setback.
Back to studies
The most important part of finally getting out of the depression. And you’ve guessed it getting past WAEC and JAMB
What you need to do here is to create and execute a plan of action to succeed again. This is also best done along with the other phases
You may feel it’s too soon but you couldn’t be more wrong the best time to face a problem is immediately. Read my article on overcoming fear.
I want to add here that one of the biggest challenges you will face is returning back to studies. All your emotions will be telling that you are wasting time. But ignore them because that is not true. The only you will pass is if you read if you put in the work.
Now if you start tackling your exams preparation immediately while they are good six to twelve months away. By the time they come round, you will be far less afraid and far more confident.
If you choose to rather not face it until a few weeks to the date. You will be more scared and more confused. You won’t prepare well and you will most likely fail again.
I eventually got my A in English because I started preparing right away after I saw the P in the last exam.
I will not lie to you it was hard because I was miserable, scared and full of doubt but when I applied all the above I recovered quickly and made the paper.
Below are other things you need to do
Triple your effort :
This could mean reading more, going to a school or getting help from friends who have passed.
The key here is just don’t do exactly what you did last time because that didn’t work. (Please don’t go and cheat you can do it.)
Find out all about the tricks or styles particular to that subject
For example, I was advised to stick to letter-writing during the exam(English was my problem) because those who marked seem to prefer that and there are specific points for letter structure I love essays and found letters boring. But I had to put that aside.
And of course, you should know for example that Jamb and Waec maths are not the same. I don’t think that has changed since my time. Meaning study for Jamb with Jamb books and past questions. Same goes for Waec.
Commit to solving all past questions from the last five years
In fact, just leave no stones unturned while you prepare.
And finally, be prepared to try again if need be but also be aware that there are alternatives to Nigerian jobs (No degree options) that is other ways to get to you promise land of success. Never ever believe that there is only way to get to where you want.
And you are done.
Accept the fact that you didn’t make it (acknowledgement)
Find safe healing methods to get you out of your depression and restore faith in yourself
and then get back to work as soon as possible.
I hope this write up has helped you a lot. Now go and fulfil your destiny!😁
As usual, I would like to hear from you what do you think? If you have had to write Waec or Jamb a number of times what did you do that made you eventually overcome them?
And what did you do to survive the moments of depression that you passed through?