You know those times when you study really hard, but you don’t get the exam result you wanted? Or maybe, you were super excited about doing something for a team but you don’t get chosen?
My big let-down was grafting all the way through secondary school, GCSE and A-level, only to be rejected by 4 out of the 5 universities I applied to when my grades didn’t work out.
GCSEs and A-levels are super tough, and the pressure put on us by school or sometimes parents don’t help either. No matter what though, it’s essential to remember that your exam results do not define you. They don’t reflect your beautiful, kind personality, and they certainly do not show what you’re truly capable of.
If you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never learn. Imagine if babies always did the right thing; how weird would that be? At some point or another, everyone has to learn that fire burns, rain soaks and wind blows. Once the basic lessons of life are out of the way, learning just becomes more complicated (and quite often, more disappointing)! But it’s all worthwhile in the end.
Mistakes allow us to re-evaluate ourselves, to help us find out what works for us and what doesn’t. For me, it was discovering that endlessly rewriting notes from a book was never going to help. Instead, I found that I should focus on quizzing myself and zone in on my active recall.
It’s okay to be disappointed, upset, even to feel like a failure. But here’s the thing: you’re not. As long as you’re able to get back up, go for it with the right mindset and do your best, that’s all anyone can ask for. Remember to forgive yourself; don’t hold onto that negative energy. You didn’t plan to do badly; no one does, but life always has a funny plan.
Also, it may all just work out. My 4 university rejections probably came from the fact that I applied for the wrong course. The last university saw something special and thought, “actually, we’re going to take a chance on you, but for a different course”. I kid you not, I’m so glad I went for it, because now, I’m really enjoying nursing and could not imagine myself studying anything different.
Everyone has experienced some sort of failure – why not ask someone, even in your family? Take the pressure off a little bit. While you’re at it: persevere and encourage your mates; you’ll all get there at the end and look back, thinking, “why did I stress so much? It was such a small thing!”