College Taught Me How To Fail

College Taught Me How To Fail

College is full of surprises. Get ready for the most ruthless of them all: failure.

It's no secret that college, job and internship searches, and life, in general, requires a certain level of failure tolerance. It's inevitable; sometimes you just won't get into the college of your choice, the program of your choice, the club of your choice, the team of your choice. Especially now, as life goes from your small world at high school where you were the best at what you did, to the not-so-small world of college where everyone around you is the best at what they do. Sometimes people are better than you, and that's just the way it is. Sometimes you pull far out of your comfort zone and get slapped on the wrists because you reached farther than you were ready for. Sometimes failure is just inevitable. But it most certainly isn't and shouldn't be the end of your world. So, you need failure tolerance. You need resilience. You need to be able to bounce back from it and keep striving on.

But the suckiest part about it is that in order to build failure tolerance, you inherently have to fail.

Many of us, getting to this point, we never really failed at anything. So to hear, "Sorry, you weren't good enough," for the first time can be soul crushing. Especially after you put so much hard work into it, especially after you thought you were a sure shot for the job.

I applied to a club recently, and I went to their networking events, did research, worked for hours on my resume and wrote a cover letter, dressed up, learned what a case interview was. Worst of all, I set my sights really high. I thought I was good enough to get in. I really, really wanted to get in. I made it all the way through to the last round, but I wasn't good enough. For any number of reasons, I just wasn't good enough to make the cut. I was upset over it. I was mad at how it was such a waste of time, how I had spent so much energy on this one club, and ultimately got nothing out of it.

A few hours of thinking later, I realized that I actually got so much out of it, out of the experience. This was a solid learning experience. And no, that's not the most cliché thing to say. It's real. I learned so much from this experience. I learned what business professional and business casual mean. I learned what is a case interview. I learned how to write a proper resume (thanks to my awesome brother). I learned how to follow up and maintain relationships, how to network. And, yes, I learned how to deal with failure.

The important thing to remember is that it happens, to everyone, and the best thing to do is pick up and keep going on. "Just keep swimming," like Dory says. It's not the end of the world. Plus, this is the time for us to make mistakes, to go down the wrong paths, to tank interviews, to say the wrong thing, to build that failure tolerance. Right now in these first years of college, everything is low-risk and very, very high return. There's no other time like it. We have to take advantage of it. I'm glad I went out for that club, because even though I was rejected, I learned so much.

And when I come back next semester, I'll dazzle them. Because failure is nothing I can't handle.

(Shout-out to my brother for the inspiration for this article, for picking me up when I was down. You make me who I am, and I would be nowhere near where I am if it weren't for you.)

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.

So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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These 23 Blast-From-The-Past Books Will Make You Want To Enjoy Reading Again

Who cares if you're a college kid? Put down that textbook and read a Magic Treehouse book.


Us 90's babies are now at the point that we are in college or just freshly out of college, starting to "adult." We've been so consumed in schoolwork and our career that we probably can't remember the last time we sat down and read a book for leisure. Maybe it's time we start to set aside some time for ourselves and get back into reading. After all, we LOVED reading as a children and had some of the best books around. Do you remember reading any of these books as a kid? Brace yourself, this blast-from-the-past is about to make you want to read them again.

1. "Magic Treehouse" series by Mary Pope Osborne

2. "Junie B. Jones" series by Barbara Park

3. "A to Z Mysteries" series by Ron Roy

4. "Hank Zipzer" sereis by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

5. "Flat Stanley" by Jeff Brown

6. "The Boxcar Children" series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

7. "Nancy Drew" series by Carolyn Keene

8. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series by Lemony Snicket

9. "Geronimo Stilton" series by Elisabetta Dami

10. "Warriors" series by Erin Hunter

11. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein

Honestly all of Shel Silverstein's books were amazing. Really made poetry interesting as a kid.

12. "Frindle" by Andrew Clements

Again, all of Andrew Clements books were awesome.

13. "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo

14. "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein

15. "Beezus and Ramona" by Beverly Cleary

16. "The Berenstain Bears" series by Stan and Jan Berenstain

17. "If You Give A Pig A Pancake" by Laura Numeroff

And "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie"

18. "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White

19. "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister

20. "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archbault

21. "The Princess Diaries" series by Meg Cabot

22. "Goosebumps" series by R.L. Stine

23. "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" by Judith Viorst

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