You are going to fail…

But eventually you’ll be okay.

I started University this year and after finishing my first semester (as of an hour ago) I wanted to share some things I learned. The first one being that you are going to fail.

You will get an assignment or test back at sometime during your post-secondary academic career and it will have a big fat F on it. Even if you have never failed before. You will see it, and if you are anything like me, it will hurt.

Your heart will stop and your stomach will drop. You’ll blink repeatedly and then call your mom even if she says not to call her unless you’re on fire. But it feels like you are burning on the inside, so you call anyways.

Luckily, my F came with one of my first projects. It wasn’t because I didn’t try or didn’t put in enough effort. On the contrary it was because I had never done an assignment like that before and I needed to learn the skills. Which meant I had to talk to my professor.

As a first year student I wanted to skim under the radar for a bit until I was confident enough. I guess in a good way, that didn’t work out.

When I got that F I realized I needed to change something. Getting high marks in high school wasn’t counting for anything anymore. I needed to talk to my professor and sort this out.

And thank god I did! I ended up meeting a professor who really cares about her students and worked through the assignment with me as I sobbed in her office because Emerald just doesn’t fail. It was only one assignment and while it will obviously effect my mark now, it won’t determine who am I as a person in the long run. Meeting with my professor led me to asking for help in my other classes and making some new friends because as Dr. T. told me I have to have fun too.

I’m grateful for failing. It helped me get rid of the stress that I have held on to and built up over the years. It showed me that “Hey this was the worst that could happen, and look at you, still breathing!”

Failing an assignment or test or even class is hard and it hurts. But it’s bound to happen eventually. Maybe it won’t happen to you this year, or next year, or even in the next four years, but without failure we wouldn’t know success. Success for me was realizing that compared to high school, I’m still getting really good marks. University is harder and the marks are not going to be the same.

My point is, if and when you fail, remember that while it seems like it’s the end of the world, it really isn’t. Things are going to work out.

Cry, scream and fling a pillow across the room, but then pick yourself back up and remember you can only go up.

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