The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Here’s my message to y’all going into break.
Many people dread failure and rejection, fearing it with every cell in their body. We need to reframe failure. It’s not the end of the world – it’s an opportunity to learn and grow.
At a high pressure school like Duke, it often feels like you have to be flawless, an effortlessly perfect, floating duck who goes to all the social events, aces all tests, exercises daily and functions on 3 hours of sleep. Well, news flash, that perfect Duke student isn’t possible – we’re humans, not robots. It’s impossible to do and have everything; something in your life has to give.
During Thanksgiving break, try to take some time for yourself. Let yourself take a breath. For one minute, stop asking what’s next or what you can do for someone else, and just sit with yourself. Reflect on this semester and what you’ve learned, how you’ve changed and grown. Reflect on what went well and what didn’t. If you didn’t succeed at something this semester – interpersonally, intrapersonally, and or professionally – why did it go badly? Failing at something, doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It means that something went wrong. Maybe, you could have prepared more or managed your time better. Maybe, you had too much going on. Most importantly, reflect on what you want to get out of the rest of your fall semester and school year. It’s impossible to have everything, so spend some time thinking about your wants and needs.
Let yourself experiment with your life. It’s ok to mess up. It’s ok to miss deadlines and meetings. It’s ok to let yourself sleep 8 hours. It’s ok to make choices for your well being. It’s ok to try something and fail. It’s ok to be imperfect. After this experimentation in imperfection, you might gain insight into what your priorities are ~ what makes you happy. Maybe, you’ll start to figure out what you want to get out of college. Do you want to ace all your classes? Do you want to party all the time? Do you want to be more or less involved on campus? Do you actually want to go down that career path?
Don’t wait until senior year to start trying new things. The whole point of college is to screw up and learn from it. So embrace your inner f*ck up. You’ll be surprised how much you learn from it.