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 on world history, which I knew required more preparation 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 doubted my ability to handle the college experience as a whole.
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 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 think you could in the future.
I MUST ACTIVELY 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 certainly weren’t there to supervise me or make sure that I was memorizing all of 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 further help; I needed to either request it or have a better understanding of the best study techniques for me in order to do 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.
It served as the necessary wake-up call for me, one that later inspired me to become the accomplished college student I am today.
MY RESULTS DON’T IDENTIFY ME 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 had the impression that mark would serve as my lifelong identity.
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 served to remind me that while there is still work to be done, a minor setback does not negate all of my previous successes.
I believe it’s 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 am the worst critic I can be. I discovered how insanely critical of myself I am during the six and a half years I spent in undergraduate and graduate school.
As I said before, I felt that a lot of minor things defined who I was. For a long time, getting excellent grades defined who I was.
However, after receiving that grade of F, I no longer believed I qualified as a stellar student. I had failed; I was a failure, and all the years of having As and being successful didn’t matter at that point.
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.
I am a human. I am not always going to 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 do it yet. It had more to do with my preparation than it did with my talents.
Friend, don’t confuse the two terms like I did at first.
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 can’t speak for you, I never want to become stale. I want to challenge myself to go further and achieve more.
Consequently, if receiving a F in college was what it required to spark my inner flame, good for you — I accept that totally and would do it all over again because right now, I’m living more ambitious aspirations than I could have ever dreamed for myself.
THERE IS STILL MORE TO COME… I hope these remarks speak to you and inspire you to start acting if you’re sitting there worrying about your grades. Never forget that you can do it!
Additionally, please share your opinions on this subject in the comments section. Let’s help one another out as we struggle!