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Anna Thetard / Her Campus
Mental Health

Why I persist through failure

We have reached the finale, aka finals season. With the late-night studying, the hair pulling and questioning of whether or not you can even pass a class, or even questioning your major the third time this semester…. It can all be very stressful. As a current Junior and rising Senior here is my story.


I am a biology major, and I once failed one of my major cognates, which was the infamous Organic Chemistry. The letters alongside the molecular structures were not adhering to the slick walls of my brain full of Lil Uzi lyrics and sad R & B songs due to my love life. It was my sophomore year, my traction for school and my grades were slowly picking up and then a major life event happened. I failed the last test I could ever receive for redemption for my class. What could I do? I was pulling my hair probably like you now. I was calling my Asian parents telling them what a complete and utter failure I was. I was laying prostrate on the ground contemplating my life decisions on whether I was smart enough to go into my field. I was staring at the big fat F on my transcript. All the F words synonymous with my situation rushed into my psyche like a rogue wave. 




Future… gone




F-cking disappointment. 


I knew I had to retake the class for my career path and for grad school. But me, facing another F, another grade telling me that I’m not good enough was frightening. Panic inducing really. See, my whole life I strived to be perfect in every single aspect, but I could never grasp harder concepts. I was average, I guess. And this big fat F shoved average right into my head. 


A ding on my computer caught my eye. 


My Orgo professor emails me…



I'm so sorry.  I know that it hurts to fail something.  But I truly believe that you are a Rockstar destined for great things.  And if you're the person that I think you are, you won't let this set you back.   You got this!


 I've had this happen to several students over the years.  They retake orgo--it actually clicks--and they move on to Orgo II.  And now they are either in med school or applying to med school--and I've also written them letters of recommendation.  Rising above something makes a great story in a letter.

“Rising above something makes a great story in a letter” 


This is a quote that has remained in my brain. This is a quote that overtook that F. This is a quote that made me persist. 



So, when you’re down in the dumps, you feel like you can’t take it, or you know you will fail. Remember to change the narrative and to not think about your F as a failure. Rethink it as a rerun, a retake, or a different path. Yes, it will suck, and yes, your imposter syndrome will tell you to drop out and be something else. 


But remember. 


“Rising above something makes a great story”


And because of this Professor, I persisted.


And you should too. 


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