The art of failing*

Mia Zanzucchi

December is full of great things like Hanukkah and Christmas and New Year’s Eve and failure.

For juniors, GSP application deadlines and National Merit Scholars results loom. For seniors, it’s college. For a combination of seniors, juniors and even some underclassmen, the ACT and SAT are slapping faces. There is a never-ending fight for dominance between stress and vomit-inducing heartache. Feelings are inevitable. Rejection is inevitable. Failing is inevitable. (Note: Side effects of failing might include but are not limited to crying, shaking, eating, not eating, standing in corners, sitting in corners, staring at walls, listening to screamo music at full blast, taking naps, moody grunts.)

But fear not, for I have done a lot of failing in my life. And I’ve got some advice for you on how to handle rejection and the feeling of failure that often accompanies.

Though it pains me to be so cliché, don’t give up. Seriously. It’s not where you go to college or what you do over the summer or what test scores you get. It’s what you do with what you’ve got.  You know that song “Started From the Bottom?” Yeah, that. Show those naysayers that you’re seriously serious about your life by not letting rejection get you down and becoming one with the phoenix, rising out of the ashes.

Don’t fall into the self-fulfilling prophecy trap. If you think you’re going to do horribly on the ACT, you probably will. If you think your life is going to suck, it probably will. So stop. Just stop. You are a breathing human being, so don’t count yourself out for anything. Nobody will remember your ACT score, and not even where you went to college, if you are an exceptionally hard working, passionate and determined employee.

In addition to those two treatments to failure, food, naps, food, walks (or runs if you’re one of those people), food, establishing a group of people – friends, family, teachers, counselors – who support you and food also contain magical healing powers.

I’ve taken the liberty of finding a silver lining of failing for you. Life isn’t perfect and there is no way you can go through life without not getting something (or many things) you want. The sooner you learn how to deal with rejection and failure, the more prepared for life you’ll be. Think of how awesome it will be to be in college and not have a mental breakdown over being bad or mediocre at something, unlike some children who have been coddled and told they can do everything their whole lives.

*This is, of course, failing not in the solely academic sense. So please pass your finals. I don’t want to get yelled at.


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