The Lesson I Learnt From Failure
When you fail, and you fail big, it feels like the end of the line. It feels like everything you once hoped for and dreamed for is now completely out of your reach. It takes an emotional toll on you. It breaks you physically, mentally, and spiritually. At least that’s what it felt like for me when I failed a school assignment for the first time.
It was fifth grade in Mr. Hegedus’s science class, we had just been given a new assignment, to read an article and then answer the analysis questions that followed. Sounds pretty easy right, well that’s what I thought as well but boy was I wrong. I had just finished the assignment after 15 minutes and feeling well, turned it into the basket and went on with the rest of my day. The next day in class Mr. Hegedus passed back the graded articles and when I received mine, my heart stopped. Already feeling myself pale and hands get clammy, I looked at the paper once, twice, and even a third time and saw I had gotten a 53% in big, bold, red ink. Now if you knew me, you’d know that I had never gotten this low of a grade before or even anything close to it. This being said I checked the paper for my name to actually confirm that this indeed was my paper, which it was. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how I had gotten a 53 when I felt so good about my work. But what was worse, yes it got worse, was that below the 53% was a note that said, “See me after class”. Now any child who sees this automatically knows they seriously messed up. Hastidly flipping over my paper, I felt my face heating up in embarrassment, and watched as all the other kids bragged about their A’s and B’s on their assignments. For the rest of the class I kept my head lowered, thinking about how stupid I had to be to get that kind of a grade. For the rest of the class I felt embarrassed and ashamed, I mean I couldn’t even make eye contact with the teacher, I thought he hated me. With class going by faster than it ever had, the dreaded end of the period had come. As the teacher signaled that class was over all the kids flooded into the hall as I lingered behind.
Casting one last longing look to the door and with clammy hands, I approached Mr. Hegedus’s desk. That day, in that classroom, I was given a piece advice that I would remember till this day. Mr. Hegedus simply said this, “Just because you got one bad grade doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world or makes you a bad person or stupid, it shows that you just need to apply yourself better” and he was right. What I came to realize that day was that failure wasn’t the end of the road. Although it hurt more than I would care to describe, failure served me more than it hindered me. It helped to build me up into who I am today. Most of the time, we’re worried more about the fear of failure rather than the failure itself. What will others think? How will I look in front of my peers? But, for those that have known true failure, and have bounced back from it, understand that failure in life is necessary for success. After that day I applied myself better in the reading assignments and my grades increased, I gained more confidence and a new way at looking at obstacles the world threw at me.
Failure teaches people that they are just like everybody else, and that success is gained from hard work and determination. Taking risks and falling down flat on our faces is part of life; it makes us into who we are. Now I’m not going to say this was the last time I ever failed because that would be a lie but every time I have failed I have always bounced back with a new strategy and kept going. Like a story written in ink, you can’t erase your mistakes, only learn from them and build off of them.
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