What happens when you fail your first year at Uni?
The short answer: Nothing really. The long answer: A whole lot happens. Its like mourning the death of something you love. Entering university you get this idea that you are going to pursue something that you are so passionate about. And how can you really fail at something you are passionate about? Something that you love, and something that you spend 3 years of high school fighting to get, and something that had always been your dream.
Now entering medical school I really thought that this was going to be easy, I know that is ridiculous to think, however, as said, something that I loved so much seemed to me as being something really easy to overcome. However it wasn’t.
I could already from the start sense that this was not going to be as I had imagined. It was a lot more difficult. And it really was a big, big difference from high school. And so failing, was not an enjoyable thing that happened to me. Especially when everyone around you passed.
So ofcourse the feeling of disappointment started to occur, the feeling of being dumb came alive and the thought that maybe I was not cut out for university started to be a daily question. Yet, I did what I could. I started studying again, this time aware of the mistakes that I did before. Mistakes like, not really focusing correctly, and just being in love with the thought of being in university. Mistakes like skipping chapters because “whatever I will come back to it” - which never happened.
Now was there any benefit to failing then? Yes, there were many! Here are a few of them:
Learning more. I know it sounds like such a cliche “I failed, but now I know so much more” but you truly do. Getting to read the material once again, however focusing on your weakness and using your strength to build that up is actually really helpful and it makes you understand the topics so much more.
You discover your ideal study methods. I did study ALOT before the exam which I failed, however I believe that being new to university I still had not uncovered my ideal study method. Yes I did do well in high school with the study methods that I used, however studying at university and high school is not the same. And that is a very challenging fact to face, but going through the whole process of figuring out how you learn the best way possible is a very long process however it will sculp you and prepare you for the rest of your time at university.
Prepare yourself for everything. Failing from the beginning already gives you the idea that everything is possible. As someone who had straight A’s like the common medical student, you often find yourself thinking that failure is not possible. So when it becomes a reality, it helps you get prepared for most of the struggles that you will face for the rest of your life. Failure is a very natural part of being a human, and this actually helps you get that.
Discipline. Last but not least you learn how to set up a schedule and be more focused. It might be the push you needed. It was for me.
Now last but not least, dont beat yourself down over failure. You will get past it, and you will come out stronger than ever.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly
Okay story time. High school was a breeze for me, i never tried super hard, i was ‘talented’ to some extent because i learn fast. Uni now is a whole different story. Everyone around you is smarter, harder working, more competitive. Failure is unavoidable. So i failed my expectations a few times, and i was disappointed. But the more i failed (my expectations), the more i realised i grew more. It made me better. It motivated me to work harder. It taught me to be humble. And it made me cherish and celebrate my successes even more because i knew i had worked hard for them. So somewhere along the line (i’m not sure when) I began embracing failure. I completely changed my attitude towards it. I realised that only through failure, can come worthy success.
Failure is my friend now. I’m no longer scared of it. If i try my best and failure still visits me, i invite it in for a cup of tea and ask it how i could do better next time. I grow. Then i walk failure to the door, and wave it goodbye, anticipating its next visit.