Personal Struggles Produce Greater Empathy

I just gave my Abnormal Psychology students their first examination of the semester. A couple of students approached me with specific concerns about taking this test. One shared that he had been struggling with health problems for the past several weeks. As a result, he had fallen seriously behind in his studying. (He shared that he also had two other exams the same day as mine). Consequently, he wondered if it might be possible to take the exam a couple of days later. I granted his request.

Another student emailed me about her severe test anxiety. She shared that she was so anxious about taking the first exam that she actually skipped class the day that it was given. She emailed me again, asking if there was any possibility of being able to still take this exam. (She was aware that the deadline for withdrawing from the course had already passed, and she was afraid of failing this course). I offered her an opportunity to still take the first exam.

I think that part of the reason why we are allowed to suffer is so that we develop greater sensitivity to others facing similar struggles.

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