Now that I’m at the completion of my first year of college, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on all of the life lessons I have learned during my first experiences of “adulthood.” I’ve learned that it’s true, frat boys really are the worst, the “freshman 15” is the real deal, and that adulthood consists of a LOT of calls to mom… and I mean a lot.
But most importantly, I’ve learned the value in failure.Finding the value and comfort in failure was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but it has been by far the most rewarding. When I entered “adulthood” I felt on top of the world and was brought my reality check way too quickly.I began to notice I was walking on eggshells in fear of something not going my way. I feared the day that I made a bad grade on a test, I feared rejection of any sort and I feared the inevitable day of when I had to learn those really hard life lessons. Although these fears are completely rational, I'm sure most of you are probably able to empathize, but I realized that this is not a way to live a life. I wish I was telling you this from a sudden epiphany I had, not a hard, cold lesson I had to learn, but fortunately, I’m not.I had to be thrown into the bad to be able to learn to love the good. I had to realize that failure is simply a part of human nature. I noticed that my generation has been taught and conceptualized that failure should be avoided at all times. For example, growing up we’re given participation awards for falling below expectations because failure is just way too tough of a concept for anyone to have to accept.But by avoiding the failure, we have suddenly begun to fail, but not in the beautiful kind of way, in an "I'm completely blind to the world" kind of way.We have been taught by society and created the habit of treating the word “failure” like it’s the worst “f-word” in the English language and that it doesn’t exist. We have suddenly become okay with being emotionally unaware on the raw and pure emotion that failure brings you.But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to have failed that test, to face rejection and to be faced with those really hard life lessons. To all millennials, IT’S OKAY FOR BAD STUFF TO HAPPEN TO YOU.Although none of us want to fail, and we should all aim for better days, we have to look at failure as another experience under our belts, as cliché as that sounds. I realized that every truly successful human being has experienced failure. Every amazing resumé has a hidden list of failures that person had to experience to be able to earn the list of successes. Nothing worthwhile comes easy so what are we all so afraid of? Most knowledge is able to be found with easy access from the internet, but the life lesson of failure is something that can't be taught, but has to be experienced. We should all learn to be more well-rounded people that don't obsess over perfection. We should all learn to stop looking at the road ahead of us in a half-blind manner. We should all learn to accept the challenge and beauty of failure as it brings some of life's best lessons. And last, we should learn to do the things that terrify us the most.