LESSONS LEARNED FROM FAILING A COLLEGE TEST Growing up, I always thought of myself as a decent student. I never seemed to have a problem keeping up with my work or earning decent grades without doing much studying.
Sadly, everything changed in the first month of my college career.
It was a class in world history, which I knew I needed to study harder for because it was far from my strongest subject.
But because I was a first-year college student, I neglected to study and ended up panicked during the test because none of the questions made sense. When I received my test back two days later with a F at the top, I immediately felt as though my entire academic career had been in vain.
Naturally, things improved after that, but for a few days, I honestly didn’t believe I would be able to handle the college thing.
Looking back, I see that despite how embarrassing it felt to receive my first F, it actually taught me a lot. In fact, I’d say that it taught me how to be a successful college student and eventually earn a 4.0 GPA in graduate school.
I thus hope that these things I’ve learned will inspire you and convince you that not everything is lost if you’re reading this and you’ve either already received a F or you have a sense you may in the future.
I HAVE TO TAKE ACTION. I thought my high school teachers did a fantastic job of preparing me for exams and impending projects. Even though I usually completed my tasks on time, it was helpful to have a second set of eyes make sure I was on track and working to the best of my ability.
I had no idea how spoilt I had become at the time.
My college lecturers were pleasant and obviously passionate about what they taught, but they weren’t there to watch over me or make sure I was studying the material that would be covered on the test.
In actuality, they hardly provided me any hints as to what will be tested.
Instead of being proactive and asking my professor what I could anticipate after class, I simply left and concluded that skimming the textbook would be sufficient.
After receiving a failing grade on my test, I came to the conclusion that I would have to take the initiative if I wanted college to be a success for me.
It was up to my teachers to provide me with the extra direction I needed to either request it or better understand what the best study techniques were for me in order to achieve better.
Looking back, I can see that after my first semester of college, my strategy for studying for tests dramatically changed. I worked harder to build relationships with my professors and fully comprehend what was expected of me during tests, in addition to becoming more proactive with my studies.
A much-needed wake-up call, it truly ignited a fire under my bum and helped me become the accomplished college student I am today.
I AM NOT MY GRADES, I’ve always taken pride in doing well in school. I frequently made honor roll, won the spelling bee, and was named student of the month.
I never failed as a person.
However, there I sat with a F staring me in the face and nothing I could do to change it. I believed that mark would serve as my lifelong identifier.
As time went on, I understood that while I had put a lot of effort into getting good grades, they didn’t actually have to describe who I was. Was I any less intelligent because I had a F on a test? No. It simply demonstrated to me that while there is still work to be done, a minor setback does not undo all of my previous gains.
I believe it is quite simple for us to become mired in our own expectations, and we are prone to overreacting to minor facts, especially the unfavorable ones.
I’m the worst critic I have. I discovered how insanely critical of myself I am during the six and a half years I spent in undergraduate and graduate school.
I felt like so many minor things identified me, as I said before. For a very long time, getting good marks defined me.
However, after receiving that grade of F, I no longer thought I could describe myself as a stellar student. All of my years of accomplishment and receiving As were irrelevant at that point since I had failed and was a failure.
How tragic is that?
I’ve come to realize that although I will probably always be my own harshest critic, I still need to extend myself some leeway when it comes to failings.
Human, I am. I cannot always be organized.
It’s obvious that I wasn’t in the correct position at the time I received this F. I didn’t prepare properly, but that’s just because I didn’t know HOW to yet. It had more to do with my preparation than it did with my talents.
Don’t confuse the two terms, as I did at first, my friend!
ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT At the very least, receiving a F on a college exam showed me that there is always space for improvement.
Who knows, if I hadn’t failed the test, I would not have begun Chase the Write Dream. I may never have been able to develop a course on time management for college students or write pieces that now have tens of thousands of monthly readers. I might not have strived for a 4.0 in graduate school or continued to challenge myself even after I graduated.
So as you can see, failing that test served as a wake-up call to greater things to come. It made it possible for me to accomplish so much more than I could have ever imagined.
It reaffirmed to me how crucial it is to always work on bettering yourself and nourishing your intellect.
While I don’t know about you, I never want to become stale. I want to challenge myself to go further and achieve more.
If receiving a F in college was what it took to spark my inner flame, then good. I accept it totally and would do it all over again because right now, I’m living more of my dreams than I could have ever dreamed for myself.
THERE IS STILL MORE TO COME I hope that these remarks strike a chord with you and inspire you to start acting if you are currently worrying about your grades. Never forget that you can do it!
Additionally, I’d love to read your comments below on this page. Let’s aid one another in overcoming our challenges!