For today’s blog post I wanted to talk about a more serious topic that I have struggled with and that I feel other students need to hear. With our education system, our intelligence seems to be based on usually 1-2 midterms and 1 exam. The bulk of our final mark is weighted heavily on these two assessments instead of on the hard work, research, and numerous assignments we do throughout the semester. This as you can imagine stresses out a lot of students – and why wouldn’t it? That is a lot of pressure to put on one person. However, the stigma attached
to these exams causes students to feel isolated, depressed and even stupid if they don’t do well on the exam. So, without further ado here is what every student and parent needs to hear about the ‘Fear of Failure’:
Failure is okay. I know the feeling of doing horribly on a test or exam and feeling like you’re the dumbest person on the planet. Especially when all of your friends are asking how you did, or even worse your parents make you feel bad about it. But why are we putting ourselves down about something that makes us so human? Without failure, you would never grow, learn or realize that you need to change. I am in my first year in University and enthusiastically started off in the Science program. If it wasn’t for my struggles in my science courses, I wouldn’t have realized that I wasn’t passionate about it and that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I decided to make a switch and am now happily in a business program. Without failure, I wouldn’t have realized my true aspirations. Failure is okay and we all need to fail in order to achieve our goals. So fail, fail again, and keep going until you reach your goals.
Learn from your mistakes. When I didn’t do the best on a midterm, instead of freaking out and stressing myself out, even more, I instead reevaluated my situation. I asked myself “What did I not do that I should be doing?” “Are there any workshops my school offers that could help me?”, “Am I really utilizing my spare time for studying?”. Once I reevaluated my situation, I learned so much about myself and my study habits. Find out what I use to study here: Wait, You Use What to Study?
Everyone fails. This is something I wish I knew as a student and I wish this was normalized. The reason you feel as if everyone around you is succeeding and that you aren’t is that obviously, you aren’t going to hear about when someone does bad! Students don’t want other students to know when they fail. They’re embarrassed too and maybe feel like they have a reputation to uphold. So keep this in mind and don’t be so hard on yourself. Trust me, I have had my fair amount of bad tests, exams and midterms. Also, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard upper year students say: “my first-year marks were horrible”. Phew! This makes me feel a tiny bit better.
Believe in yourself It can be hard to pick yourself back up after a bad exam mark or test. But don’t give up on yourself! Believe in yourself! You can do this and you will, just like you always do 😉
I don’t care what mark you get, or what anyone says. I am telling you that you are an intelligent individual. Regardless of how our education system is set up or how bad you do on a test or exam, you ARE smart. You ARE intelligent. YOU have a brilliant mind and don’t you ever forget it.
Well, I hope these points help you overcome your fear of failure as a student and put things into a bigger perspective. Don’t be afraid of failing! Failing should be celebrated because it means you are one step closer to succeeding. I wish more students realized that so many students fail, including me! So don’t panic and remember, regardless of how low your mark may be, you can always pick yourself back up. You’ve got this!
-Grace Swain 🙂