"After Years Of Being An Honor Student, I Flunked"

Don't let your failures define you.
by Katrina Golamco   |  Mar 14, 2020
Image: unsplash.com
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Okay, hear this out! There are students who make academic failures a big deal not because they’re simply grade-conscious or competitive, it’s just that they have already set some standards and goals for plans that they want to achieve. Hence, they become so frustrated when things go wrong along the way, and oftentimes, question their self-worth. But the hard truth is: There is no guarantee in life that all of our endeavors will be successful. There are days that we are at the bottom and there are days when all of the wins in life are yours to take home.

We’ve been so focused on not failing that, when we do, we become so low-spirited and easily give up on the goals that we have planned out for ourselves. We often forget that failures are part of every accomplishment and it is necessary for us to experience it to learn and to know how to make the situation a better version of it.


As students, it is inevitable to undergo academic relapse from time to time. So, if you are currently in a state of defeat this semester, remember these few things to hopefully help you get back on track:

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Know what to stop and where to start

Re-assess yourself, because what is efficient then may not be efficient now. Learn how to acknowledge the mistakes you have committed and start analyzing what went wrong in that situation. Were your study habits effective in that particular subject? Have you given yourself a breather when you were reviewing? Did you procrastinate on your project last week? Try exploring different techniques that will fit your personality, mood, and the gravity of the task. Also, try to seek criticisms from your colleagues, friends, or mentors. So that you may know what are the mistakes you have missed noticing.  

However, there are external causes that we can’t anticipate along the way – may it be the suspension of classes or your groupmates who don’t contribute. These troubles are already out of our hands but you can still manage them by controlling your attitude towards the situation. Don’t leave your chances of success on somebody’s hands. Instead, refrain from blaming them and take control of defining your own fate.


Everything you feel is valid

Sometimes, it’s just not our semester to begin with, no matter how hard we try. And that’s okay! It’s normal to feel unmotivated sometimes, we all go through that at some point. Take a rest, treat yourself to some mental vacay because at times like these, being unproductive is actually being productive for yourself—especially for your mental health. If you feel too sad to get some tasks done, pause for a bit and resolve your emotional matters first before anything else because we all know no one can work productively with a heavy heart and a troubled headspace.

Don’t let your failures define you

One unfortunate circumstance doesn’t determine your whole future, always remember that you can always create a big comeback if you wanted to. Know that every successful person in the world were once losers, too!

Walt Disney was once fired because they said he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Look at what he had built! Imagine if he had given up on his first try, then we won’t have the wonderful childhood that we had through our favorite Disney movies. Steven Spielberg got rejected three times (!) at the University of Southern California to study at the School of Theater, Film, and Television. Now he is one of the most respected directors and producers of films that we can’t get enough of.


The bottom line is it is a gradual process, not instant gain. If you failed once, twice, thrice, or twenty times, you should still believe you will get your break someday. Maybe not in the form that you wanted to, or at the time you expected it the most, but it can come. Just don’t stop trying!

You are moving in your own perfect timing

We are all taking different routes in life. And each route takes a different travel time, mode of transportation, and traffic rules. So don’t compare your own journey to others'. Instead, be inspired by how resilient they were, how they were motivated. Just like what author Steven Furtick said on Success, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

Trying to see the whole picture—from the ugly beginnings to the fulfilling moments—will change your perspective about everything on a positive note. Try redirecting your envy for others to recognizing your own achievements and remembering the real reason why you are there.


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About the author
Katrina Golamco
Candy Correspondent
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