COLUMN: Accept the failure in you

Marisa Karpes   Columnist

Marisa Karpes


By Marisa Karpes, Columnist

As college students, we’ve all been there. Getting a bad grade on a quiz or an exam. Totally missing the point on an essay. Losing the big game. Not winning an award you thought that you were a shoo-in for. It is not a good feeling to fail and/or to lose at something. It may bring you down or discourage you from continuing on. It may make you feel like it’s something you will never bounce back from. It might even make you rethink your dreams. While failures and losses do provoke all of these negative connotations, they are, nonetheless, things that are necessary in order to develop and improve.

If  it were not for failures and the occasional slip-up, every thing we do would just feel numb. Always getting a perfect grade takes away from the good feeling of accomplishment. There becomes nothing to aim for. It is human nature to want to get better at things, but when that opportunity is not provided for us, it becomes numb. Failures, especially in academics,  allow us to see where we can improve. For example, I did not do well on the first quiz of the semester in a class I am taking, but it taught me to trust my gut and not overthink things. Sure enough learning that lesson made all the difference. 

And winning every game does not feel great not only for the team, but for the audience as well. Take for example a WWE professional wrestler named Asuka. The WWE has had her on a winning streak for the past two years, and the momentum does not seem like it is going to stop any time soon. While Asuka is a very talented performer, many fans detest her due to the fact that we know that no matter what match she is in, she will win. It takes the excitement out of the match, and I would not be surprised if winning does not mean much to her anymore either.

Failing or losing does not always amount to being bad at something. Sometimes, those going up against you are just simply better. 

If you truly want to succeed and win, you can take from what others did well and apply it to your own work in addition to taking other criticisms.The Leader did not win the top award at the ICPA conference a month or so ago; it didn’t even get an honorable mention in that category. Even though it did not place in the big award, there were still plenty of things The Leader did do well, and my colleagues should be proud of that. It is not something that should be taken personally, this just leaves all the more room for improvement.

 Things should not be done just to succeed. Sure, grades are important, but you should be here not to get grades, you should be here to learn about things you are passionate about. 

Sure, winning games or matches is important to an athlete’s record, but you should play the game for the fun and the love of the sport. And sure, winning awards may define accomplishments, but you must do what you love because you love doing it, regardless of what anyone else says. 

I write for The Leader not just in the hopes that I could maybe one day win an award, but because I love writing. The Leader provides me with an opportunity to not only do it, but to improve as I go on.

It’s okay to fail. Just accept it and improve from it. But most importantly, remember what drives you to do what you are doing in the first place.