It’s been a bit of a while since I last did an update to the blog, however today I’m going to discuss failure. I know it’s not really everyone’s cup of tea, however it needs to be talked about. Failing a module is just as important as passing one, because it can teach you some really important lessons.
One such lesson is that, a mistake will never define you. (apart from the following, which might… (thank you XKCD for being the source of joy to anything)
I’ve failed a lot throughout my life, exams, assignments, homework. However I’ve carried on pushing myself to do the best that I can do. Whether it be attempting University or even learning how to survive on a £5 / $6.94 a week budget. My most recent failure came after I failed my module that I was retaking.
To me, all that means is that I had a bad day during the exam.
One technique I learnt a long time ago was to go into every exam believing it was a mock examination, that it means nothing. It works. I don’t feel stressed, I don’t worry about it. I just go into the hall, write what I think the answers are, and leave. If I fail a module, well I just know that I’m not good at that topic… yet. I know I can come out, enjoy myself again and read my textbooks to learn it in the environment I prefer without having to worry about the impending deadlines.
That leads me to my other point, learning the topic in your own time.
No one likes to fail, and if you’re like me, you prefer to overcome that failure by proving to yourself you can do something. The best way I manage this is by reading through and practicing the work in your own time. Currently I’m working on a project in C++. The language I failed my module in. It’s slow progress, but I learnt a lot more about that topic from doing it without pressure than I have ever done before.
That’s something employers want to see. They want to see that you can overcome failure, and I know that I will always have “failed C and C++” and I will always tell employers if they ask, before replying with “however, I took this upon me and learnt from my mistakes and produced this.” (it’s actually really handy as 9/10 employers ask for a time when you learnt from a mistake)
It might be the definition of insanity, but it’s also the same as perseverance.
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time.
Perseverance: Try, try and try again until you get it right.
Keep attempting whatever might get you stuck, and someday it’ll just click, and you’ll have worked it out.
(Apart from me and percentages, but who will ever need to know what 34.46% of something is?)
Anyway. That’s me done for the day,
I hope my experience has given you some insight into failure and why it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
See you again! Conor