Failure–for many people, especially Georgetown students, this is a sensitive topic that may bring up bad memories of previous letdowns. Regardless of the amount of encouraging rhetoric out there that exclaims that failure is a positive, growth experience, failure still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of most Georgetown students.
It appears to go against our natural instinct as Georgetown students to fail. The average Georgetown Student is high-achieving and likes to have all of their ducks in a row. Transitioning from being the top students in our classes, top athletes of our sports, and key leaders of our schools, the shock of college failure seems to hit like a metro-bus.
I speak from experience. I’ve had my fair share of failures at Georgetown in just 1 full year of going here. Since beginning my career at Georgetown, I have failed too many times to count. And each time, I absolutely hate it. Not only do I get stressed out, but I scold myself for even making a mistake in the first place. Rather if that’s missing an assignment, failing a midterm, getting rejected from a club after the final round of interviews, or all of the above, failure has proven to be a big player on our campus, one that we simply cannot ignore.
So, the big question is how do we address failure in college?
As Georgetown students, I think we should challenge our initial reaction to failure and retrain our brain to react in a different way. I have definitely not mastered coping with failure, but I am learning, and I would love to share what I have learned so far.
Embrace Your Emotions
It’s easy to try to go numb after a major failure, especially if you don’t know how to process it. Allow yourself some time to emotionally deal with the failure.
Acknowledge Irrational Beliefs About Failure
Often, we think failure means we are unqualified, unworthy, or unintelligent. Pushback on these irrational beliefs, and remember that you are human and humans fail! Living a life without failure is absolutely impossible.
Ask Yourself What You Can Learn
Recognize that you can handle failure, and that you can learn from it. Failure is a sign that you are challenging yourself to do something difficult. Failure can be a great teacher if you’re open to learning, but you can’t be afraid of your teacher or you’ll never learn!
The unfortunate truth is that failure is a part of college life. Or maybe that ‘s not so unfortunate. We can learn just as much from our defeats as we do in the classroom! Failure may leave a bad taste in your mouth, but consider it like a bitter vitamin: it may be hard to take, but it will surely make you stronger!