Failing A Class In College Doesn't Make You A Failure

I always thought winter time during the school year is what comes hardest for me.

I always thought that winter quarter was the hardest quarter. It's always dark, it's always dreary and the sun stays hidden.

Winter quarter is, and always will be hard. But I've come to the biggest conclusion that spring doesn't come any easier.

I haven't been able to figure that out yet. Three years of going through a spring quarter in college, and it doesn't seem to be getting any easier.

I failed a class in college, yet that doesn't make me a failure.

Let's backtrack a bit. Last spring 2018, I don't think I'd ever felt so low than I did during those few months. It wasn't even my mentality (maybe a little bit) that took the toll, but my physical and emotional aspect.

I was in a class that at the time, I thought was required for my major (it isn't so round of applause for me for putting myself through this). It's always hard to be in a class that you feel passionate about and excited about, yet everything you're doing is just not the right thing. It's hard seeing everyone else around you succeed and you're just not getting it.

This class took so much out of me. So much to the point that I didn't even know if I wanted to return back to school in the fall. I ended up withdrawing from the class part way through the quarter leaving a big "W" on my transcript. In those moments when I went to the registrar's office and asked for a withdraw form, I'd never felt more defeated in my entire life.

I was battling so hard on staying in the class or withdrawing (remember, I thought it was required so I thought I needed it). But then I thought about what it would've been if I just took a few months off from school and tried again later. Then I ended up playing the "compare-myself-to-my-friends" game. I always lose.

I thought about one of my best friends who graduated from high school and never went to college. How she is the assistant manager at her work, a job that she absolutely loves, who just moved out on her own at 21.

I think I could drop out. I could find a job that I really love, I can find a way to do what she does. If she can I can, right?

Then I think of my other friends who are also in college who are just thriving and enjoying life every single day. And I think, what the hell did I do wrong? I don't love what I'm doing. I don't love where I am. I don't have as many friends as they all do. What do they have that I'm not doing?

You'd think after nearly 21 years on earth, I'd learn that the "comparison game," is always a lose-lose battle.

So I took the "W," let myself feel like a failure and get on with my summer. Let me just say, coming back in the fall, I've never felt better than I ever have before.

And it's here that I realize, it's not winter quarter that's hard. Winter quarter is dark and I don't like the blue weather. But spring hasn't been much kinder to me.

Fast forward to now, or a couple of weeks ago from now and I find myself in the same situation. I'm in a class where everything I'm doing is just not enough. Where I feel like everyone else around me is thriving and I keep coming up short. I can't even say that I failed because I was distracted or partying or caught up in a relationship or wasn't trying.

This time, I didn't withdraw in time. This time, I do need this class for my major. This time, I feel like I really did mess up.

Except, to be completely honest, I don't know if I fully did because quite frankly, I don't even want to look at my final grade. As much as I'd like to think I failed the class, I just hope (and think) I did enough to pass.

All I know is I nearly failed a class in college. Yet right now, I don't feel like a total failure. I don't feel like I failed, and I don't feel defeated. Because I've been through this before.

I've been through doing poorly in a class and I've been through feeling defeated by a class that I know what the other side looks like.

And here I am, completely exposing myself to all my friends and family so I'll make myself very clear one time and one time only, I pretty much failed a class in college but that doesn't make me a failure!

What's different about this class is I actually need to pass it. I actually need to take it again and succeed to continue on in my major. For some reason, I'm in this weird limbo mood where I feel like I can do it. Maybe that's just my brain already being on summer mode, but I feel like when I take this class again, I'll pass it, complete it and be proud of myself again.

Failing one college class does not make you a failure. Failing ten college classes or any class for that matter does not make you a failure. It's what you do afterward that matters.

And I hate to be the one to preach that or try to preach that because no one likes those people. We all know the grass is always greener on the other side and whatever happens, happens. We know that! But sometimes it's important to hear it. Hear it from someone who has actually been where you've been.

Failing a class sucks. Having to tell your parents and your family that you're not graduating when you thought you would because you need to retake a class does not feel any better.

I know I'm in a lucky situation where I have support no matter what. Not everyone has the same support I do or the same backbone to fall back to like I do. But just because you failed one, eight or every single class but one, doesn't mean you're a failure. Keep going, keep trying.

I am not giving up. So shouldn't that count for something?

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