College does a great job of providing students with the tools they need for success. But with overwhelming amounts of success comes the possibility of failure. Our society only praises success, furthering the shame surrounding failure. Despite this stigma, failure is essential to succeeding. Without learning from your mistakes, how can you move on to make sure the mistakes never happens again? Whether you fail a class or fail to land that job or internship, failure must happen to pave the way to success.
The stigma surrounding failure needs to shut down. Here is why.
To put this argument in perspective, think of a time you personally failed at something. Maybe you worked exceptionally hard only to face disappointment in the end. Maybe you acted on a challenge which you knew you’d fail. For example, maybe you failed an exam that you studied hard for or forgot to turn in a huge assignment. Maybe you got into a stupid car accident despite your years of driving experience.
Whatever the case, you are reading this narrative, which means you survived. You have survived all past failures. In a matter of days, months or years, your failure does not matter and remains a thing of the past.
Let’s face it, nobody is perfect. We all must experience failure eventually. Instead of acknowledging and stressing over the negative stigma, look at the positive impact it can have on your life. Moving past failures strengthens you as a person. You learn from your mistakes so you know not to them make again. After all, with more experience comes better chances of success.
Instead of living in fear and anxiously avoiding failure, keep an open mind.
Throughout my own life I have failed at different things countless times. Despite this, each time I found that failure led me to finding my true self. I can recall multiple times when I failed, but one particular story stands out.
Despite sucking at math, my school requires students to take an Economics class for the Journalism major requirements. I expected this class to be challenging for me, so I set aside time to study each week. I scheduled my life around this class in order to achieve the best grade possible.
Toward the end of the semester, the professor assigned a position paper that counted for a large portion of the final grade. A position paper outlines someone’s intentions or opinions regarding a particular subject matter. I felt confident doing a writing assignment in Econ, I am a Journalism major after all. I decided to hold off on completing it and dedicating my time to other classes instead.
I’m sure you can guess the unfortunate outcome.
I missed the deadline without realizing. This was supposed to be an easy assignment but I was irresponsible. I failed, making my grade suffer drastically. I fell into a deep hole of anxiety about my final grade for this class. With time, I realized that there’s nothing I can do about missing the deadline, but I could make sure I did extremely well on the next position paper. This next one made up even more of my final grade than the first paper.
I completed the second position paper during my designated study time. I made sure I handed it in long before the deadline. I learned from my mistakes. Instead of letting my failure with the first position paper hurt me, I had to accept my final grade and learn from my mistakes.
Failing does not mean giving up. Instead, it serves as a wake–up call to work harder and strive to improve themselves. Stop stressing over the inevitable and see the failures you face in a more positive light. You won’t regret it and you’ll end up further on the road to success.