Academic Recovery and Resilience

Academic recovery is an opportunity to reflect on your past choices and create new goals for a future semester. The lessons you learn from overcoming obstacles are fundamental to your future successes. By understanding resilience, developing grit, adopting a growth mindset, and restoring your motivation, you can learn how to move forward. You are not alone and support is available. We hope these resources will be useful to this next chapter of your journey.

Developing Resiliency | Humboldt Resiliency Resources | Growth Mindset | Recovering from a Failure | Motivation
Support Network

Developing Resiliency

Resiliency is the "capacity to recover from difficulties."

Navigating life in and around college is full of challenges, many of them unexpected. It is how we approach our life after a difficult experience that really matters. Our ability to cultivate resilience when encountering future challenges is ultimately what defines us--and our success.

We hope you benefit from these stories and resources to begin approaching your life with a growth mindset. By learning from your mistakes and empowering yourself with resilience tools, you can achieve academic success and reach for new goals in your life and career.

HSU Resilience Resources

Our Academic and Career Advisors have gathered these resources to help you reframe a difficult experience--be it personal, academic, professional, or even something larger such as a change to your life goals. There are many student services and on-campus advocates to assist you. Reaching out and connecting with others will help you move forward.

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset is "the belief that your most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work."

Growth Mindset is a worldview that says people's talents grow and change based on their persistence and the opportunities they have to succeed. This is often contrasted with fixed mindset, in which people think there's nothing they can do to improve their innate skills and areas of weakness. The Academic and Career Advising Center believes passionately in teaching Growth Mindset to enable all students to thrive as well as directly mentoring students in their growth. Research shows that students who have had seven or more meaningful mentor relationships during college are three times more likely to say college was a rewarding experience.

Recovering from a Failure

At HSU’s Academic and Career Advising Center, we think of failure as part of the human learning process. When we strive to achieve new goals or learn new things that are difficult for us, no one attains mastery right away -- and yet, most students experience intense societal pressure to succeed and believe that “failure is not an option.” So when it happens, then what?

Many people come to college with no “roadmap” for failure, and often get stuck in the negative feelings that failure can produce. Whether it is a low grade in one class, a mandatory academic disqualification from the university, or not getting a career opportunity you badly wanted, it is normal to experience failure in college. Our hope is that you can breathe, take a step back, and understand that your experience of failure is just one part of a worthy, complex life experience.

Failure is not a stopping point. It is an opportunity to move forward and do things differently. In the end, most people feel grateful for the lessons they learned  and the insights they gained about themselves as a result of working through an experience of failure. It is possible to reframe a difficult experience, adopt a growth mindset, and build your resilience muscle. You are not alone. You can move through this, and you can come back even stronger.


An essential aspect of adopting a growth mindset and recovering academically is motivation. As a student, your motivation may be inspired by something outside of yourself (extrinsic motivation) or it may come from within (intrinsic motivation). If you find yourself struggling with motivation, take some to consider what isn't working and set reasonable, realistic goals for change. Even the biggest project can be successfully handled if broken down into small, achievable steps. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, boost your self-care and adopt healthy, mindful practices as you recover your motivation to succeed.


Support Network

When you begin or return to college, you have to build upon your familiar support network from the past and form new relationships with friends, professors, advisors, co-workers, mentors, and a new campus community. This can be overwhelming at first and does take time. Meanwhile, your relationships with family and friends can undergo many changes and it is normal to feel outside of your comfort zone.

When faced with these changes, some students isolate themselves and deal with academic and personal challenges alone. You do not have to endure these transitions on your own! In fact, making a genuine effort to build a support system is essential to being successful in college. Knowing that it is okay to ask for help and to connect with others is an essential step in academic recovery.

A support network can take many forms with both on campus and off-campus groups and individuals. We hope the resources below will help you identify your existing social supports as well as opportunities for new connections. Meeting with your academic advisor or a trusted mentor is a great place to start and they can listen and help you in your next steps.