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How do I tell my parents that I failed two classes this semester?

SurpheSurphe 6 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9 New Member
edited December 2014 in Parents Forum
I was a straight A student in high school. I started college last spring and I did well enough. This semester didn't go so well. First off, I should mention that all my life, I've been suffering from Social Anxiety. My parents have no idea because I'm very good at not telling the truth. For example if we're out abd they ask me to ask a salesperson a question, I'd say no but I wouldn't tell them I'm scared. I would just say I don't want to. I created this lie that I dislike people in general and try to avoid communication, and I kept it going all of my life. That was the lie I used for everything related to people, such as why I went through four years of high school without making any friends or why I went through my first semester of college without making any friends. As far as my parents knew, I was simply introverted which is perfectly normal, not socially anxious.

This semester, I had a crush on a female classmate but I knew there was no way in hell I could ever ask her out. So I decided I had to start a new page and beat this. I started socializing as much as I can, and it was absolute hell for me at first. Being socially anxious, I over thought every little word or gesture. I forced myself outside of my comfort zone and I forced myself to talk to people. Slowly, this started putting me through a phase of depression. Somewhere in the middle of the semester, I became so depressed that I had little to no sleep (there were bags under my eyes), hours felt like days, days felt like months, months felt like years, and the thought of jumping in front of a moving train kept recurring every time I went outside, and it seemed as easy as breathing.

Long story short, towards the end of the semester I got out of depression (though every now and then I still get a kick in the gut from the remanants of it), made a few friends for the first time, beat social anxiety, and even asked my crush, who I became friends with, out. Of course I got rejected and destroyed my friendship with her, but that's unimportant. What's important is that I did all of that for the first time in my life; I beat social anxiety.

But this all came at a price. By the time I got out of my depression, it was too late. I was already failing calculus 2 and chemistry with no hope of passing. I tried my best on the finals, but that didn't help one bit, just as I expected. I focused more on socializing than studying because in the long run, the former seemed more important to me. Like I said, I'm a fairly good liar. Every time my parents called me and asked about my test results, I would say "good. Mostly Bs" because I didn't want to disappoint them and I thought I might be able to get it fixed in the final. Most of my grades have been posted online. As expecte, an F in calculus 2. I got an A and a B in two easy classes, and chem and english havent been posted yet but they should be any minute now and Im fairly certain I failed chem (and probably got an A or a B+ in English). I failed the two classes that required studying because i simply couldnt bring myself to stusy. My dad pays for my rent and sends me money every now and then when I need it, so telling him I failed not one but two classes will break his heart (and my ear drum). Just to make it clear, I would rather die than tell my parents any of the things I wrote above. I've never been sentimental with my parents. Even when they say "I love you" I just nod. I don't even kiss them on the cheek or hug them. So I can't imagine telling my parents the stuff I went through.
edited December 2014
50 replies
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Replies to: How do I tell my parents that I failed two classes this semester?

  • AlexmerAlexmer 168 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 170 Junior Member
    Maybe telling your parents about this could be another step in overcoming social anxiety. Just be honest with them- especially since you've already lied (which was a mistake). You already have a good semester under your belt so hopefully you can convince them that this was a hiccup and that next semester will be much better.
    Or, if you don't think you're mature enough to handle socializing and school yet, consider giving college a break until you can sort your life and priorities out.
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  • Bromfield2Bromfield2 3506 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,539 Senior Member
    Tell the truth. You will feel better; lying only makes everything worse. Also, consider getting therapy to help deal with depression/anxiety. You might be surprised at how your parents react. They probably handle things better than you imagine.
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  • vamominvabeachvamominvabeach 401 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 412 Member
    Your parents love you. Yes, they will be disappointed, but keeping secrets eats at you and undermines your relationship with your parents. I've had this conversation with my own son. I've told him I hate secrets, tell me the truth so we can tackle problems together.

    I'd suggest you tell them all of your truths, no matter how hard or scary. Parents know when something is going on with their child and it hurts when children are evasive - because you know something is wrong, but you can't help when they won't share the problem. You may also consider some counseling. I think it would help you greatly.
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  • DmitriRDmitriR 838 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 838 Member
    As someone who has had an issue with social anxiety before, I can understand how tough it is to talk to anyone -- even your parents -- about these feelings. Something that may help is that, if you are having trouble talking to them, to show them what you've written here (or write something else like this if you want) and use that to start the discussion. Talking can be hard, but you've already done the hardest part of articulating these feelings and experiences in some form. Showing it to them will be tough but at least that's done.

    It sounds like you have a very good idea of what your problems are which is actually a huge step that a lot of people struggle with. You know what the problem is. There are probably some resources on campus that can help you with the anxiety in a reasonable way that doesn't compromise academics.
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  • boudersbouders 2417 replies166 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,583 Senior Member
    I struggled with social anxiety for many years. It crippled my ability to succeed in life, just as it is doing to you now. There are medications that can help. I urge you to discuss it with your doctor. I agree with the previous posters who recommended counselling and discussing it with your parents. If I'd sought help when I was your age, my life would have turned out a lot differently. There are things that people can do to help.
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  • atomomatomom 4618 replies41 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,659 Senior Member
    As a parent who has dealt with a kid who "hid" bad news, I want to tell you that I (and I think other parents will agree) would much prefer getting the bad news straight/up front. So much worse to find out about something later, and even WORSE to find out that your kid was dishonestly hiding the information from you instead of coming forward and admitting it. Just tell them. Or write it down if you can't say it to their faces. This isn't the end of the world. The sooner you tell them, the sooner they can help you figure out what to do next. Good luck.
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  • Much2learnMuch2learn 4607 replies167 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,774 Senior Member
    You should talk with them about it right away. I would outline the things you want to say in advance.

    There are many students in your situation. You are definitely not alone.

    You can do this!
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  • KnoxpatchKnoxpatch 343 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 351 Member
    edited December 2014
    Parents know that kids don't come with warrantees. Even if your dad starts with a yell fest, he'll calm down eventually and then help you figure out the next steps. Agree with the counseling suggestions. It can help tremendously.
    edited December 2014
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  • Deuga7Deuga7 63 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    You've got more going for you than you think. Sounds like you're trying to mature into a whole person and not just an introverted student. That's good, in the long run you'll be more employable and have far greater odds of career success.

    First of all the F's are correctable, talk to your academic counselor. I'd do that soon so you can devise a strategy.

    Social anxiety is a treatable condition. Anxiety conditions can also show up in other aspects of your life that you're taking for granted. Get help. Treatment can involve the right prescription drug and behavior therapy. The greatest odds of success will be to do both at once. You'll need a psychiatrist and the right psychologist, or MSW. Getting treatment will yield a far greater chance of success than trying to wing it on your own. You'll also get over the anxiety much sooner and more completely.

    I'd talk to your parents face to face. The sooner you do this the better you'll feel and the sooner you'll start getting the right kind of support from them. Yes, I know you're dad is going to blow a gasket. The sooner he does so the sooner the healing will start.

    FWIW, if you fear your father as much as you say, then realize that it's possible that the reason your lying and the reason you've got the anxiety is because your dad has made it socially impossible for you to tell him the truth. All that blather above about getting help for your anxiety? He might need the same anxiety treatment you do.

    Good luck.
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    You are not ready for responsibilities and independent life at college. Grades are just symptoms of that. So, this what you have to tell, you have to have lots of growing up to do before you are ready to be on your own. Maybe the hometown college is a better alternative where you can live at home and commute.
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  • StoriesToTellStoriesToTell 19 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20 New Member
    Tell your parents sooner rather than later. But before you talk with them, make a plan. Find out about the resources at your school and be prepared to outline the steps you plan to take to get back on track. Most schools have counseling or support groups for dealing with social anxiety. Identify an advisor/mentor who you will work with, determine the process for repeating the course if possible, are there summer school classes you can complete online to catch up on credits, etc.

    Making mistakes is part of learning. Some are more painful than others. Own it and move forward.
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  • NewHavenCTmomNewHavenCTmom 1971 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,028 Senior Member
    I didn't read your entire post but agree with mostly everyone else....

    You are human. A young human. Who will make mistakes. This isn't the end of the world.

    The best thing? Just pull up your grades & show mom & dad. Being open and honest will help you in the long run. They are your biggest fans and want you to be happy, productive and whole. Yes, they will yell but I'm sure they have yelled in the past. Have a plan as to how you are going to improve next semester. Better organization? Better class time arrangement, less socializing? Seek out tutoring services? Form study groups? Abstain from drugs & alchohol if you partake. They will only add to your depression.

    Your dad needs to know he can trust you. Trust is like oxygen. We can't see it but it's a vital part of life, without it, we suffer. Stop lying. Period. Being honest is a big part of being an adult. Stop wasting your dads money. I wouldn't be surprised if he requires you to pay some of your own rent, tuition.

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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1516 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,534 Senior Member
    The sooner the better. The sun will still rise tomorrow.
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