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The pathway to success is not always a straight line. Different people have their own views on what it is that makes them successful. Some people might start university earlier in their life, some may start later. Some people might get a job immediately after graduating, some might not. However, there are no stereotypical standards that can dictate whether you are successful or not.


Whenever I face an unfortunate situation, I always think that it has happened to me in the “best worst” way. For instance, if you’ve broken your arm, be optimistic that you have not broken the other arm. Or when you fail a midterm, be optimistic that you did not fail two. Grades are important, yes, but they are not everything. Do not let discouragement choke you when you get bad marks. Life is much more than just a number. Keep in mind that once an event has happened, it is impossible go back in time and change the past. Instead, what you can do is learn from your past and be optimistic. Admit your mistakes and refine your goals. Setting goals is also a practice that will give you a more positive perspective on life. It helps you keep track of your performance and improvement.


You may have gone through a time when you’ve underestimated yourself, either by comparing yourself to others or taking peoples’ misjudgement to heart. I know this process is definitely not easy. But why would you compare yourself to others? We are all imperfect human beings, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Do not be a mirror for others, be the very unique self that you are. And you cannot accept everyone’s misguided criticisms. The best solution is to take people’s misjudgements as motivation to work harder and to be more determined. Their wrong assumptions do not reflect your actual ability and therefore cannot hinder you. The more they think you can’t do it, the more you have to show you are able to do it.


It is okay to fail. You fail, I fail, everyone fails at certain stages of their life. The greater the failure, the more you make from it. Therefore, do not be afraid to fail. “We learn from failure, not from success.” So, without failure, how can you be successful?

Nicole Dang

Waterloo '21

Hi! I'm Nicole, a third-year Science and Business student at University of Waterloo
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