College is a time of growth and development. During the ages of eighteen to twenty two you will have great accomplishments and achievements. But with all great successes come failures. What no one seems to really tell you is that being a young person is all about failing and making mistakes. For many college students it can seem as though college is more a test of how many times you can get back up from getting knocked down again.
I can definitely relate to this feeling, especially recently. I seem to be experiencing a lot of failure lately and it’s really been getting the better of me. Over break I had an interview for a really great summer internship. It would have been a really great opportunity with a lot of experience in my field. The interview was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had and I left feeling really confident. I was sure I had the job in the bag.
A few days went by and I heard nothing. I logged onto Facebook and I saw that the two other girls that I knew had also applied for the Internship; posted about getting the internship. Even though I had not heard from the program, I knew at this point that I had not gotten the job because if I had I would of found out when the other girls did.
I was feeling an array of emotions from sad, to angry, to disappointed. I felt like a huge failure. So many questions raced through my mind. What did those girls have that I didn’t? Am I not smart enough? Do I not have enough experience? Did I actually blow the interview? I just didn’t understand what I did wrong. I mean they seemed to really like me, so what was wrong with me then?
After I stopped questioning myself, all I could feel was anger and regret. I was mad at myself for not being good enough, but I was also really mad at my mom. My mom had really pushed me to apply for this internship and go for it. I was hesitant and on the fence about applying, but with her encouragement, I decided to apply. I was mad that she pushed and helped me applied. As irrational as it sounded, if she hadn’t pushed for me to apply then I would have never known any better about the job and therefore wouldn’t be hurt about it.
I thought about the way I felt for a little while and one thing kept sticking out in my head. My favorite show is Grey’s Anatomy and I practically know every line of every actor to every episode. It’s a slight obsession, but intertwined in the ridiculously good looking McDreamy and McSteamy episodes, are some excellently written poetic life lessons. When thinking about my regret about applying for the internship, one quote on the show by lead character Meredith Grey kept playing in my head; it went something like “knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying”.
Never trying would be the easy and safe thing to do in life. You would never get hurt or experience loss or pain, but is that really better than sitting around wondering about the what if’s? You can’t get very far in life without trying. If you don’t take risks and go for things, then you will surely be stuck in a rut. Yes, failure can sting but so can wondering what could have been.
So even though I failed, and didn’t get the outcome I was hoping for, I’m sure happy I tried. I took a chance and went for something. I’m not going to regret taking a risk that had the potential to further my educational experience. Instead of focusing on the outcome, I’m going to choose to focus on the future. I’m going to apply for more internship programs and other positions that could benefit me. I’m going to focus on all the things I’m good at, my past successes, and successes to come. As much as this experience sucked, it made me thankful. Overcoming failure is an essential key to a happy life and learning to triumph over it will only make you stronger. So don’t ever be afraid to take risks that may result in mistakes or failure. Failures do not define you as an individual; how you choose to overcome them does.