Sadly, almost everyone fails at some point in their lives. Whether it was an exam or a job interview, you should always look at the bright side. Failure is a part of life, and understanding that will help us get better.
We’re all human, so our correspondents wanted to share our first failures with you all to show you that we’re okay and we’re still moving forward.
It isn’t an F, but in my fall semester of my first year, I was really shook to find out that I was barely passing my microeconomics class. Granted, I put barely any effort into studying, but I had always done that in high school and done perfectly fine! Alas, my first-year self was confronted with the fact that college is, in fact, not high school, and even with the butt-kicking I gave myself in the last month to try and pull out a B-, I ended the semester with a very high C+. I was devastated, and the next semester for macroeconomics I was so fired up to not get caught in the same situation and ended with a B+! I took my perceived failure and learned from it as a student. (This is the kind of story that I told all of the first years I met during orientation this summer to scare them into studying for their classes!)
The first test or quiz that I ever failed was a timed multiplication quiz in 3rd grade. I think I got 13 percent. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of a long journey of failing math tests (but I’ve never failed a class!). Ten years later and I ranked 13th in my senior class. I now believe that this was an instance of divine foreshadowing. I would have been in the top 10 if I hadn’t been so awful at math … Also those quizzes were definitely the beginning of my anxiety disorder.
The first failure I ever had was when I took a science quiz in 7th grade. I got a 30, I believe? It was really devastating because my parents promised me they would buy me a hamster if I did well on the quiz. I didn’t, and recalled bawling my eyes out to my science teacher about how I really wanted a pet hamster and how I absolutely needed to do well. I eventually found out the reason I did so bad was because it was open-book, and I retook the exam. I ended up doing way better, and yes, I did get my hamster.
I think the first time I failed a quiz or test was in the 7th grade. It was a vocabulary quiz in English and I had to take it as a make-up because I had to go to my grandfather’s funeral on the day it was given. Anyway, the teacher was rushing me to finish it so she could move on with the class and so I rushed through it and got around a 30 percent.
I don’t know if I’ve ever failed a test. I’ve come close to failing tests, but I think the worst feeling of failure is not getting a job or internship. It’s happened to me a few times, but I’m currently applying for summer internships. I haven’t heard back from a majority of the companies, and the one place I did hear back from was a no. I believe I’m putting my best self out there, but I understand that it’s ultimately the company’s decision to hire me as an intern. If anyone else ever feels discouraged by the job search, just keep trying. Maybe even visit Career Development for advice like I’ve received since working in the office as a Career Peer Mentor. I guess my point is career exploration is hard, and you might hit a few missteps, but that’s just life.
My final project in 5th grade was to write a short story and then give it to our teacher fully typed. I was then, and continue to be, a pretty slow typist. For the last few weeks of school I drafted my sister in an attempt to type it for me. I’m sure now that the reason everybody else had finished before me was because I was the only one stupid enough to write a genuinely full story. It was several pages hand-written, not long by my standards today, but a mountain for someone who was just learning computer stuff. The truth is, I never finished. I just didn’t hand it in. I spent all of my fifth grade graduation wondering if they were going to take my degree away. It has haunted me ever since. If I ever publish any writing, I’m going to give Mrs. Krieg a shout out in the acknowledgments as an apology.
In middle school, I had a test about a book where you could also read an extra book and take a test on that one too and get a better grade. I read both the books, but apparently didn’t have very good reading comprehension at the time, because I got a 63. I came to the teacher’s room in the morning crying and asking if there’s anything I could do to get a better grade. She was surprised that I was so upset considering I hadn’t even taken the test for the other book yet and could add up all those points to get a 93. I wanted a 100, though, and I was still mad at myself for doing badly.
Failing may suck, but we’re all okay. You can be, too.