This is a post I`ve been wanting to write for a long time, but I didn`t want to have to meet people`s questions. I still don`t want people to question it, just because. Not only because I failed an exam, but also because I haven`t really told anyone about it.
Before I joined the university last year, I was one of those people who did well at school. I had good grades, I studied quite a lot and I was focused. More focused than I was when I joined the university. It turned out to be a more difficult transition than what I first had expected – way too much syllabus and way too much independence. I didn`t really know where to even begin. In October my grandmother was admitted at the hospital and we got to know she had cancer. I spent more time at the hospital than studying. I knew I should`ve studied, but I didn`t feel like it. I guess it was hard to focus when my mind and body were somewhere else most of the time. I tried to spend as much time as possible with my grandmother at the hospital and later in the nursing home. I spent at least 3-4 days of the week with her and when she died in December I felt like I hadn`t spent enough time with her. I regretted everything I hadn`t done, instead of actually appreciating all the time we had spent together. Imagine what I would have felt like if I had spent more time at home, studying. I know I can`t blame anyone but myself for failing, of course, but it goes without saying that when a family member is admitted at the hospital and has cancer you want to spend more time with her or him. At least that`s what it was like for me. Later on we also were told that she didn`t have much time left and even though a huge part of me didn`t want to believe that, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her.
Since I wasn`t motivated and focused, I didn`t feel ready when it was time for the exams. I could`ve and should`ve studied a lot more, but didn`t. It was hard to find a schedule that worked for me, especially during the first and second semester. When we got the results and I saw the “F” online, I felt a little too shameful and a little too much of failure. That`s what I remember. It was the kind of feeling that wrenches your body and makes you feel bad about yourself. It was just a grade and it made me feel like that. What for? Perhaps because all the time I had been a good student, and now I wasn`t anymore. Or perhaps because I felt like it was something I was told to be shameful about.
But WHAT EVEN – sometimes life happens, sometimes things don`t go according to the plans and sometimes you have to try again. Feeling that way sucked for me, and it made me realise how so many others must be feeling. The feeling of failure, the feeling of not doing enough or being enough, especially when you`ve been doing so good for a long time. It`s easy to feel alone about failing your exam, even though the statistics show that`s not true. But, you`re not alone and it`s okay if you`ve failed your exam. That doesn`t mean I recommend you to fail your exam(s) – put an effort and give 100. Sometimes, that`s not the easiest thing to do. You feel unmotivated, you`re not focused and life happens. Sometimes things don`t go your way and that`s okay – just make sure you get up and keep trying.
I re-did the subject this semester and passed, so I`m for sure not a failure. What stupid things my mind was telling me. Doesn`t matter if it was for 10 minutes or 10 hours, it`s crazy how we sometimes feel a certain way because that`s what perhaps more appropiate. I mean, after all I didn`t even tell my friends. But, a grade doesn`t define me or my future.
I still don`t feel 100 % comfortable posting this, but I don`t really understand what the big deal is. That was then, now is now and now I`ve passed. What`s past is past and after all, I`m so much more than a grade.