Be bold and brave for failure is OK

Illustration // Madalyn Drewno


Illustration // Madalyn Drewno

Attending a university doesn’t come with a “How to Guide” to help maneuver life while in school. Consider this the crash course for students to navigate through the potential failures of college.

No one tells the stories about the failures students have in college, since it’s not typically worth bragging over. For many, college is perceived as a glorious time filled with friends and experimentation. While those things are an integral part of the college experience, there are some low times, and that’s more normal than a friend-pack Instagram pic.

There will be times when the train breaks down on the way to a final exam. There will be times when the professor is a hardass and marks off 10 points for forgetting a comma when denoting numbers (pro-tip: remember 1,000 with a comma for Principles of Finance). There will be times when homesickness seems to be the only thing on the brain, and that’s okay. Call home, say hi, and if possible, hop on a plane when nostalgia seems unbearable.

Each year comes with its existential crisis. When freshman year starts, learning to eat a balanced diet comes with a shock wave. Sophomore year, classes become increasingly harder and friends start to drift apart when they move off campus. Then junior year rolls around and the graduate-level courses seem impossible and the parental pressure seems to mount. The summer before senior year is the time that students apply to internships or to master programs. Senior year seems like the light is at the end of the tunnel, but what if the prospected major was the wrong major?

College is hard. Every single year it seems even more impossible, and the previous year suddenly feels like a piece of cake. But guess what? All of it is achievable. Good grades can be achieved with time management skills, guidance on major can be provided, and advisors can help with career paths. If anyone has learned anything at the end of their college experience, it’s that everything will be okay.

Sometimes it takes people eight years to finish undergrad, and that is completely okay. It’s okay to not fit the cookie cutter college pattern, as long as an effort is given. The best thing is to own up to the mistakes made, and say, “It’s okay, I’m working on it and giving it all I have.” Countless assignments and exams will be failed—that’s life.

It doesn’t matter the incoming freshman GPA or ACT score; everyone will fail at least one assignment in college. Keep going, cross the finish line; there will be hard times and happy times. It’s important to realize that following one’s dreams is the most important point to higher education.

A student once said during class that their mom gave them the best advice: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”Though it’s somewhat bizarre, the analogy was right. One step in any direction is one step closer to whatever that specific dream or goal is. Take a deep breath, anything can be done if hard work and dreams align.

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