Failure is just temporary

While the festive excitement builds, 2017 matriculants are on the edges of their seats, anxiously awaiting their results – which only come out in early January – with the possibility of failure playing on their minds.


What happens to those who have failed?

Failure is nothing to be ashamed of – the trick is to dust yourself off and get back up again.

Over the years, failure has led some matriculants to fall into depression and even commit suicide.


According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), 9,5% of teen deaths in South Africa are caused by suicide. One of the triggers could be exam disappointment.


“There are children who have undiagnosed depression or who undergo a trauma or an experience that makes them more vulnerable, and this can be the final stress that causes them to commit suicide or use drugs,” says SADAG's Dessy Tzoneva.


However, as much as failure depression can be a trigger, parents should be mindful that this may not be the only reason for such suicides.

“Failing is not falling down, but refusing to get up” – Chinese proverb

Yes, every parent wants their child to pass and be successful, but it is important for them to be aware that children are not all the same. When a child fails, support is better than a lashing.

As much as you may be disappointed, your child is certainly feeling worse and at this time, it is best to focus on the positive and the way forward.


Tips to cope with exam failure:

  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t be dramatic
  • Learn from your experience
  • Try not to linger on your failure
  • Be positive
  • Bounce back
  • Destress and have a bit of fun


To those who are feeling suicidal, it is not worth ending your life over failure. There will always be something to live for.

All the best to the 2017 matriculants!