Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.
College is an unchartered frontier in some respects. This may be the first time students get something lower than a B, or God forbid, an F. Ideas that were celebrated are seen as being less than full. Rejections amass, criticism deeps, a need for financial responsibility becomes very apparent (if it hasn’t been before). This is a time when there aren’t too many people to help bail students out.
By college, students are adults who have to deal with consequences on their own. The lessons can and will be rough at times. Everyone will have their moment in the unwanted spotlight, so don’t think that because things pile on you for a while and your friends look unscathed (or vice versa) that things will stay that way. They won’t and they don’t.
The important thing in all of these awful moments is that you find the valuable lesson. If you are recovering from a disastrous first year or have to come up with a new plan because you have failed out of your school, examine the experiences to see how you got to that point. What were you doing too much of? What were you not doing enough of? What is your view of yourself and how does your assessment of your abilities have to change to get you to the place that you want? Do you need to trust yourself more? Do you need to ask for help more?
The slap down comes first, then, when the dust settles, the lessons appear. Take note, and use them as stepping stones to your next landing in life.