How to Cope with Failure at University
Failure is contiguous with academia, and will be experienced by just about everyone to some degree during their university experience, whether they admit it or not!
The best way to cope with failure, is by embracing it with a big massive hug.
It’s drilled into us from an early age that failure can never be an option. But it is, and that’s okay. Poor old ‘failure’ has a bad rep, and negative connotations attached to it. Just because we sometimes get some things wrong, slip up, make mistakes, it doesn’t define or make us as a failure. Failed is a word to describe something which has gone wrong, failure, on the other hand is a label. A label not for you.
When facing up to your shortcomings or “failures”, remember these failures are not what shapes you. Your accomplishments, successes, wins and losses, do not make up your identity.
Focus on who are you, not what you achieve.
Fearing failure can be absolutely arresting, causing us to do nothing and preventing us from moving forward. When we allow the fear of failure to consume us, and prevent us from embracing future prospects, we’re most likely to miss out on some great opportunities along the way.
We all have different definitions of failure, simply because we all have our own subjective benchmarks of failures, values, and belief systems. A failure to one person might simply be a great learning experience for another.
We can melodramatically choose to see failure as “THE END OF THE WORLD” or as evidence of just how inadequate you believe yourself to be. Alternatively, we can view failure as the incredible learning experience that it often is.
Every time we fail at something, we can choose to grow from it. Learning from our mistakes help us to develop and also keep us from making the same mistakes again. Most of us will stumble and fall throughout our university experience, some essays you’ll ace, and some you may just scrape by.
Failure can bring about self-awareness, and teach us things about ourselves that we would never have learned otherwise. For instance, failure can help you discover how resilient you are as a person, or find the unexpected motivation you needed to succeed at passing your essay, or placement. Often, valuable insights come only after a failure has happened.
So how do you cope with failure at university?
Embrace it. Learn from it. Move on from it.