Being Academically Excluded is Not The End of The World

Getting “kicked out” of university is a huge blow; especially when it’s due to academic exclusion!


It can make you feel like a failure or a loser or even stupid but that is not the case. Life is full of ups and downs and this is just one of the downs. It’s not the end of the world.

I think it’s especially tough on people facing academic exclusion because our families are not very understanding at times. They don’t always understand the pressures we go through in life and at varsity.

The older generation believes that life is supposed to unfold in a straight line or sequentially. You matriculate, go to university, get a degree and that’s that.

It’s not easy for them to understand when you deviate from the “norm”. One of those instances being when you don’t come back home with a degree. It can get really tough for you when you drop out.

Look at it this way, you now have the opportunity to re-examine yourself and your life and do deep introspection. Find out why things did not work out so well from you then make a plan from there. Explore your options. You do not have to go back to varsity right away.

Take the time to explore new hobbies, get a job if you can and maybe do some short courses. You might just find your passion!

When it happened to me I was relieved, to be honest. I was looking for a way out and that was it.

I remember initially feeling like I was kicked in the gut when I opened the letter and read the words “academically excluded”. Sure, it felt crappy the fact that the school had decided I shouldn’t go back. Nonetheless, it was an answer to my prayers…

Unfortunately for me, I had to deal with the backlash for a while. My mom actually said she knew I wasn’t going to cut it. Didn’t even take the time to ask me about it before forming an opinion. Anyways, it was whatever.

It’s my life anyway. I’m the one who has to actually make a plan as to where to from here…

I decided to move on and try something else. Personally, I was done with that place.

I decided right off the bat that I was going to find a job. I was not even the least bit interested in pleading my case with an academic exclusion appeal letter, didn’t even tell my parents there was an option to appeal.

The reason I am telling you that be academically excluded is not the end of the world is that: if you try to do your best and it just doesn’t cut it, there are other avenues to explore.

Personally, I was very unsure of everything I was doing at varsity the first time around and I didn’t see the bigger picture at all. I was just dragging myself to class every day depressed as hell.

To be honest, back then I was very closed-minded. I was brought up with the mentality that you go to high school, matriculate then go to university to get the degree; simple as that. Life isn’t that black and white, there is a lot of grey!

I’m at UNISA now studying through correspondence and working full time and I’m doing even better than I was as a full-time student.

In the 3 years I was at university, I never even managed to complete my first year successfully, I got to second dragging some first-year modules only to fail again at second level.

Now, I managed to get a distinction during my first year doing more or less the same modules.

By the way, I am paying for my own education now because I get tired of trying to convince my dad I want to go back to school; I understand why he was so reluctant though because I made such a mess of it the first time.


Sometimes in life, you just need to take a breather and regroup so you can get your head screwed on right and then attempt whatever it is you “failed” at again with a whole new attitude and perspective. With regards to the whole point of this post, academic exclusion is not the end of the world. It’s a second chance, an opportunity to do things right and to find an alternative that works better than your first attempt.

Maybe I was not mature enough the first time around but I was better mentally prepared this time.

Many kids these days are depressed because they fail matric and even attempt suicide. I feel like I can relate a bit because I experienced the effects of poor academic performance at university. It felt like no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t cut it.

I was always close but not close enough. Not good enough. Not smart enough. I would fail subjects but just 2% sometimes and cry myself to sleep at night. It was exhausting because it felt like all of my efforts were nothing but a waste. They got me nowhere!

I feel that sometimes in life we fail at things to teach us something. It’s not that you are incapable just that maybe your approach is wrong.  Maybe you just need to revisit how you go about your studies.

Your study method might not be the right one for you. Just because you didn’t succeed with your studies the first time around it does not mean that you should give up. You can try again in a different environment or alternatively, you can explore other academic avenues such as short courses or turn your hobby into a money-making business.

Not all of us are meant to go to varsity and get degrees and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like many, I was programmed to believe that that is how life is supposed to be yet there are people who are successful at what they do that have never even set foot in a college or that are university dropouts.

You just need to find your niche, your passion and possibly turn that into a career. This doesn’t always entail obtaining a tertiary qualification.

You just need to figure out what your path is. Since my first experience at varsity, I have tried to adopt new study methods such as breaking my material for the day into 40-minute sessions with breaks in between and watching YouTube videos related to the study material.


I spent time reading up on how to improve my academic performance. I have developed a study timetable for myself and I studied at work when I could. I’ve even spend time on assignments on weekends and stopped leaving things to the last minute. I try to make sure I complete my assignments a week in advance to ensure I have more than enough time to review and revise if necessary.

I am still reminded about how I spent 3 years at varsity only to come back with nothing. But I have learned not to let it get to me.

I have dealt with it personally. It doesn’t really matter to me what other people say or think about it because it’s in my past. The most important thing is that I haven’t given up.


I know that I will be successful in life. Not according to anyone else’s standards or timetable but according to mine.

Don’t ever carry shame for your academic exclusion and not succeeding at anything the first time around. The important thing to do is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, plan and execute your next step.

If you’re on the brink of academic exclusion, maybe these study tips could help you out!

20 thoughts on “Being Academically Excluded is Not The End of The World

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