Read This If You're Feeling Down Because of Failing an Exam or a Subject

This girl survived it and so could you!
IMAGE Aimee Chavez Octaviano

Everyone understands the struggles of being a student: the failing grades, the botched recitation, the less than average grade you got for your essay, the list goes on. And while it's easy to just give up and let things be, it's far more fulfilling to challenge yourself and work your hardest to prove yourself wrong. After all, getting perfect grades isn't the be all and end all of being in school; it's learning. Take it from fresh graduate Aimee Chavez Octaviano, who not only failed a subject once or twice, but thrice! Imagine how frustrating it can be? Good for her, Aimee didn't let it faze her. She survived the challenges and lived to tell the tale. Below is her story.

To those who feel down because of failing exams...this is my story.

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The first picture was taken during the summer before my 2nd year in college, 2013. My family and I visited the National Museum and I took a selfie with the displayed sablay which we, UP students, wear on graduation day. Little did I know that the coming school year would be the hardest I would ever have in my college life and our family's lives in general since we lost tatay that year in September.

My freshman year came by swiftly. Being a really sensitive person, I had a hard time adjusting to living in a dormitory away from my family. (We're living in Quezon City but I studied in UP Los Baños, Laguna). I went through high school in FEU Diliman not doing my best, content in just a passing mark. That's why in freshman year of college, I experienced a lot of firsts (mostly crying lol). First time crying because of waking up late and missing my class since there was no one to wake me up anymore, crying because of feeling homesick, crying because of my first time failing an exam.


When I first failed an exam, I called my mom crying and she said "Ano ba 'yan Aimee, iniiyakan mo yan? Exam lang 'yan. I know you can do better" and those words kept me going for three more years. I passed all my subjects in the first year.

Second year college came and boom! First semester, I failed Bio30 Genetics (IT WAS REALLY HARD FOR ME) and Chem40 Organic Chemistry (passed Chem16 and 17, they were easy but 40.....huhu). Again, I cried. But I knew it was my fault. It was a fact that the courses were hard but it was also a fact that I did not do my best. Second semester I passed Bio30 finally (yey) but still failed Chem40. On both tries I was under great professors which made the course a lot harder but it's not right to put the blame on them. It was all my fault.


Before entering third year college, I promised myself I would do better. Not just for myself but for my family especially my parents who constantly work hard for our studies. I looked at my course curriculum and the only way to graduate on time was to file for overload for the next semesters and waive subjects which had prerequisite subjects I haven't taken up yet and take midyear classes. So I did.

There were actually people who told me "Overload? Hindi mo kakayanin yan." "Ang hihirap ng subjects na kukunin mo" "Ay nako natry ko na yan believe me susuko ka rin, babagsak ka"

I had no vacation from studying since the start of third year. I took midyear classes. I passed Chem40 on my third take. Was even included in the students who topped one of the exams! Passed all my other math, chem, bio, and physics subjects. Did well on my student-teaching courses and on my research (SP). The road wasn't easy! I still cried a lot of times especially on the last few months before graduation! But I strived hard for that sweet sablay.


And here I am now, teaching mathematics and science to my students and passed the September 2016 Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers.

Do not be afraid of failure. Do not be ashamed of it, even. I am proud of myself for defeating my worst enemy which is myself.

We shouldn't degrade those who fail. We shouldn't in any way make them feel bad about themselves. We do not know what they are going through and each individual has their own way of learning. I understand that more now as an educator. We all learn in our own way, at our own pace.

Never let your failure define you.

Cliché but true. Never let your failure make you lose track of your dreams and aspirations. You're on the right track. FAILURES ARE PART OF YOUR JOURNEY. USE THEM TO MAKE YOURSELF STRONGER. FAILURES ONLY MEAN YOU HAVE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT!

Always remember that you have your family, friends and teachers who love you unconditionally and will never stop supporting you! (Thank youuu! And thank YOU LORD!)


"Bumagsak ako" that's okay.
As long as it is followed by "Mas gagalingan ko pa sa susunod" :) When there are students who fail I tell them what I have learned in college not so that they would repeat my mistakes but to let them view failures in a different perspective and make them strive harder in the next quizzes or exams because I know they can do it. :)

I would like to end this post with this quote, "You only fail when you stop trying". :)

What's your graduation story? Share them with us in the comments or via Twitter @candymagdotcom. We always love hearing from you. :)









About the author
Mara Agner
Assistant Lifestyle and Features Editor

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First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis 2 hours ago

If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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