Hidden benefits found in failure

Hidden benefits found in failure

Mackenzie Bill, columnist

Sitting in math class in 8th grade, I stared at the test my teacher had just given back to me. There was no way I could ignore what was right in front of me. I got the motherload of all bad grades, the one that depletes students’ GPA.  I got a big, fat F. Sure, the test was challenging, but there was no way I could’ve done that bad. I remember this grade not because of how horrible it was, but because the lesson I learned from it was more memorable than any A I’ve ever gotten.

The stigma around failure restrains people from achieving their goals. In reality, failure plays an important role in high school. In the workplace, you will encounter numerous defeats, and being able to know what it feels like before adulthood is beneficial.

I encountered my next academic struggle freshman year. I struggled in biology with some of the ideas, from getting a bad grade on a quiz to just feeling like I failed myself because I didn’t understand the material. Turns out, the F I got in middle school actually helped me realize my struggle was a way for me to learn and grow, as well as ask for help from others.

Earlier this school year, I was searching for a quote for an English project that stood out to me. None of them seemed fascinating enough, until I came across one by writer Joseph Pearce that really spoke to me. It’s about how creativity catalyzes through being unsuccessful.  “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong,” Pearce said. In high school, a common fear is failing a test, not making a team, or simply not being successful. Students should distinguish this “fear of being wrong” by embracing challenges. Creativity will stem from the ashes of failure, even if it means you have to face temporary setbacks.

Failure isn’t something that students hope for. It’s hard to be unsuccessful in high school because of the competitiveness of academics. High school doesn’t seem like a great place to fail because of the overwhelming academic pressure. But in actuality, these experiences with defeat can prepare us for entering the workplace and prepare us for the future.

A common misconception students have is that if they fail a test, they will fail the class, ultimately ending in them not getting into college or obtaining a job. This unrealistic cycle can create unnecessary anxiety. In 10 years I’m not going to remember failing a test or not making a team. Having a bigger perspective on grades in high school can make the idea of failure a little less terrifying.

Going to South means high expectations from peers, teachers, and parents. Doing anything less than what’s expected is seen as bad, and the thought of not being successful is something no parents want their students to go through. But through many experiences, I know that not achieving something you wanted will happen to us once in a while. If you’re struggling mentally or emotionally, talk to a friend or trusted adult for help. If you’re academically struggling, go into the TLC or meet up with your teacher.

Failure makes us the people we are today. It makes us resilient, stronger and teaches us how to grasp what we’re struggling with. I am beyond grateful for the F that I got on that test in eighth grade. It taught me how to dust myself off and get back up again. Instead of being embarrassed about the outcome of things, I implore all GBS students to embrace failure as a valued part of their high school career, because it teaches us to be creative, be prepared for being adults and learn from our mistakes.