7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student

Hello! Let me talk about a very common occurrence among Nigerian students. It is the issue of being given a course of study a student did not apply for in a tertiary institution.

Usually, this happens when the candidate meets the minimum requirement for admission but falls short of the available space in the desired department due to ranking based on merit (that is in an ideal case).

This ‘spillover’ candidate goes to other departments that have not met their admission quota for the session.

I get it – no one likes second best, no one likes leftovers, and if an average person will have his way, he will always prefer ‘me over others’.

The pain associated with rejection is perhaps not as heart-rending as the pain of having one’s ego bruised when treated as one who deserves less; talk less of being denied the chance of pursuing one’s dreams.

Read: Consequences of Exam Malpractice

Let’s talk…

I know you consider the ‘second fiddle’ course not worth your best effort. Being so disposed, your performance is in great peril. The truth is this: the response above is primarily subjective.

7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student
7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student

You tend to adopt a ‘victim’ mentality and enslave yourself to a slew of negative emotions, ranging from disappointment and disillusionment to apathy and discontent. Under the influence of such psychological concoction, any tendency towards your capability is likely truncated. Hence, regret and depression come knocking.

A quick question, my friend:

why accept the offer when you have no inclination to do anything worthwhile with it?

Yes, your parents, fear of the unknown, you are tired of being out of school for so long and a number of other reasons may have compelled you to do so.

But have you for once thought that perhaps, this course chose you? You did not get to do the choosing but a choice was made all the same. In this case, you were not just the one to roll the dice.

Now that you’re stuck with God-knows-what for the next four to five years, how do you make the most of the situation such that you do not end up a deadbeat and a loser on two fronts?

Failure to secure the course you really want to study & failure in the course you did not want to study!

Let’s explore a few thoughts that can help you get rid of the regret and depression that come with such muddle.

1. Think of what you can make of it rather than what it makes of you
7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student
7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student

So, life has dealt you, a hand you would rather not have. How about you show life in ‘sweet revenge’ that it is the hand, not the card that makes the man. Yes, every detour is an opportunity to discover a new route to your destination.

2. There is more to life than academic training

Yes, I just said that.

Don’t get me wrong, listen to the line of my thought.

I do not despise the high pedestal occupied by academic training in any way. I believe that education is a ‘composite tool’ that comprises a suite of skills. Academic competence is one of the major skills you will acquire.

In the end, you may be awarded a degree in whatever course you studied but the sum of the constituents of your personality will far surpass the learning and experiences you accumulated in class.

Your friends, the activities you engage in, all and many more will eventually tell on who you turn out to be.

So, for a brief moment, look away from what will be on your certificate and focus on what will make up your character.

3. Justify your parents’ financial and emotional investments

Whether this is what you want or not, the truth is that your parents are most likely spending just as much on and expecting just as much from your education. How about you consider their sacrifice and commitment to you come rain or shine and do them proud, course notwithstanding.

4. Maybe it’s the road you need
7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student
7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student

This may not be the road you want but perhaps, it is just the road you need.

Life is replete with stories of accidental discoveries and sweet happenstances. Would you just for a moment, consider the possibility of the fact that God’s hand might be leading you to that thing you are supposed to be doing all along?

Perhaps if you take a closer look at where you are, you might see something worth sticking with. 

Serendipity is an integral concept in life, what’s happening to you might just be a course correction measure, that you may otherwise not agree to but in the long run benefits you. Nothing is sweet as fortuitous discovery, finding the things you weren’t even seeking.

5. Everything worth doing is worth doing well

The truth is, this could just be leverage to what you really wanna do.

The scriptures recorded that if you are not faithful in other men’s riches, who is going to give you yours (Luke 16:10-12)?

There is always a possibility that you may find your way back to that original path you have so desired.

If you are that determined, why don’t you consider the present situation as a stepping stone to it? An opportunity to accumulate good habits and extraneous skills which you may integrate into your skill set or personality makeup in the long run.

The beautiful fonts and lettering of the iPhone are attributed to calligraphy classes that Steve Jobs’ took in the short time he spent in the University – mind you, he was not in the University to study calligraphy. Isn’t that superb?

6. Do you really want to waste four or five years of your life? 

Yes, do you wanna spend those precious years doodling around, waiting for life to happen to you?

24 hours are precious enough! how about you multiply that by 365 days in a year and 4 or 5 years (on the average) you will spend in the University. Life is too precious to be spent moping around for so long a time.

So, get up and make every second count! Ace that test, study hard for that exam, put your best in that practical. Decide you are not going to decay in the wrong spot, but rather you will thrive and transform the so-called ‘wrong spot’ into a ‘sweet spot’.

7. Learn change and adaptation

Leverage on this instance of not getting what you want to learn change and adaptation.

This is what life is all about.

It is like getting groceries that are not even on your shopping list. We cannot throw them away but we can find an innovative use for them. It is a classic case of the stone which the builders rejected becoming the chief cornerstone. 

Life will always evolve in ways we may never anticipate. Learning to adapt and comply are perhaps invaluable skills we will ever learn.

The kind of adaptation I am advocating is not the lax, passive and baseless sort – that is the stuff of animals. What I am talking about is the active, energetic, innovative and dynamic proactivity that masterpieces out of broken marbles.

Just consider humanity on the overall for a moment. We have not only survived on the planet for so long but we are also transforming it at a wobbly pace despite the many challenges it has presented to us over the millennia.

We are the stuff of hope and love, faith and expectation; without this, even when we are not getting our way, we lose our humanity.


I, therefore, admonish you to draw on the many success stories of winning against infirmities and odds that precedes you. Join that league of legends and make your story worth telling to posterity. Determine that wherever the tides of your life may go, you will constantly stay afloat.

Don’t throw tantrums, that’s the stuff babies do. Take up the challenge, wrestle it down, wrestle it through – that’s the stuff of mature people.

On a final note, let’s take a cue from Aristotle who mused (and I paraphrase) – We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then, even in things that are inconvenient and unanticipated, is not an act but a habit.


Make the most of the situation; dare the unconventional, do the impossible, gracefully carve a thriving niche out of what should otherwise be a miry pit.

I hope I have been able to make you see opportunities and reasons not to quit yet, and if you feel good about this, share with the buttons below.

Much Love!

If you have any question, drop them in the comment sections. 😉 

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Post Author: Ikeoluwa Ogedengbe

Ikeoluwapo loves to paint vivid ideas on the canvas of young minds by engaging the rich, deep and poetic language that captures even the wildest imagination. He is passionate about education - mind you, not just marking time in school but the lifelong interaction with people and the environment that makes one imbibe and absorb information from myriad sources and in the process evolve and become something of a phenomenon by transformation. In summary, he believes that if you want a learning experience, you've got to create it... He is creating one through Explicit Success and he invites you to take on this adventure with him.

42 Replies to “7 Incredible Ways To Deal With Regret And Depression As A Student”

  1. Thank you for sharing this information, People often get caught up in depression for unhappiness. They need to look at the big picture and make an adjustment or change. Being upset and depressed might get them stuck, but change puts them on a new path.

  2. Oh man! I so wish I could talk to my younger self in college… Because I would tell her to STOP freaking out and stressing out about school work!!! Because um, I don’t even remember the classes I took, except for the ones in my major – hahahahahaha! The amount of time and energy I wasted on stressing out – NOT WORTH IT!

    1. For those who are entering college this is so important! I agree with your 2 thoughts, you can either embrace the opportunity or you can find a different path!

    2. Awww. I agree with you that going to school can be stressful. I am sure it helped you to be strong too. Thanks for reading.

  3. These are great tips. I haven’t been a student for a while now, but I seriously wish I would have had all this advice then. I regretted so many things that I feel so silly for doing it now. Great post.

  4. This is really amazing and I will share it across my network. I wish I knew how to deal with stress and depression when i was a student. It was so hard. Great tips.

  5. This is great for all the students out there! Sometimes it feels like no is able to relate to what you’re going through. You’ve got a lot covered here, and I know it will help someone out 😀

  6. That must have been really hard to talk about this topic! Thanks for sharing your advice – coping with depression surely is super hard!

  7. Something my Mom would always tell me is that it’s okay to feel sad but you can’t allow yourself to be sad forever. I think this is something that a lot of people forget about.

  8. Thank you, I had to leave my dream career due to my chronic illnesses. So I can relate so well. In starting I was angry, and in denial. But then learnt that this is the best option I have. And I need to make the best of it.

  9. Such great and useful info. I especially like the bit about adapting – it’s true about college and it’s true about life. Thanks for sharing

  10. Very well written and good tips. Depression is a serious and important issue on college campuses across the country. College students are susceptible to depression due to potential factors such as stress with school, work, or finances, or possibly feeling isolated after moving away from friends and family.

  11. Depression is such a serious issue, and it is everywhere! It makes me so sad when people look down on someone because they are on medication for anxiety or depression.

  12. Depression is a modern age disease number one! Ant what’s even worse, a lot of people doesn’t seem to notice or care about their depressed loved ones. I’m aware of how difficult the struggle with it is, and hope that the awareness will rise.

  13. This is such a great post. It’s always important about how we view the things in the world. It’s what we make of the difficult situations rather than what they make of us.

  14. I was almost finished university when the urge to quit hit me hard. “Why am I doing this? I can’t do this anymore. It’s driving me mad!” I mean, I worked part-time too and had a family already and did my school from home so I had to be a hardcore self-motivator, so it was kind of inevitable that the stress would get to me at some point. But when I was almost done?! I am really glad I saw it through. If for no other reason than to say I didn’t give up. Even just THAT matters.

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