A Millennial Engineers’ Guide to Coping with Disappointments

It's a shared experience. Here are tips for you.

Are you disappointed in school, work and in life?

Disappointment is a complex emotion that many have a difficult time dealing with. We’ve all gone through disappointments in at least one point in our lives, and the feeling is painful. Like the time you studied so hard for your board exam, but you didn’t pass; or when you expected to get a high grade because you did all you could, but ended up getting a barely passing grade; or when your group-mate promised to finish the report last night, but ended up not actually doing it. It is painful, and it is bitter.

There are some ways to spare you from this pain. Here are 5 steps that have worked for me.

Step 1. Manage your emotions


This is one of the most important steps when we feel disappointment. It is important that you let yourself feel this, so you can analyze the event and what it means to you. During this process, it is important to avoid making any important decisions, as this may just be an effect of your overwhelming emotions. Wait for a few hours to a few days until you are in a calmer state of mind.

Step 2. Don’t take it too personally


Sometimes we end up blaming ourselves for some disappointing events. We sometimes say “I deserved it”, or “I’m just not good enough.” Though it may partly be true depending on the situation, but beating yourself up over it won’t do you any good. It already feels bad enough that you’re disappointed, don’t add further stress to yourself by making yourself feel worse. Be your own cheerleader, and tell yourself “I can do better”, “I know what to do next time”, “I’ll get through this.”

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Step 3. Review your expectations


It helps to analyze your expectations to be able to understand the gist of your current situation. Maybe your expectations were a wee bit too high? If they were, then maybe it’s time to adjust to more realistic expectations that will help you cope and adjust with the situation.

Step 4. See the bigger picture


This is the step where you take it all in, and see the bigger picture. Take time to reflect what, why, and how it happened, and what have you learned in the process. Then when you’re ready, go talk to a friend who can understand you. If by any chance it’s an engineering school concern, then by all means go approach an engineering friend—no one understands an engineer better than another engineer. This will help you recover, and feel better.

Step 5. Try again or choose a different approach


Once you’ve analyzed and re-evaluated the situation, you may already have a clearer view of what you’re going to do next. If you feel that it’s possible to succeed again with the same approach, then by all means try again. But if you think your previous plan isn’t a good approach anymore, try a new one! Millennial Engineers always have a plan B ready, what’s important is ‘move forward’ and ‘don’t ever give up’.

Cielo Santos

Engineer. Writer. Artist. Gamer. Musician. She dreams of building a time machine and help kittens take over the world. Is secretly the pink power ranger in real life.

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A Millennial Engineers’ Guide to Coping with Disappointments

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