Recently I have noticed a lots of my friends and peers on campus stressed over the “what ifs” in their lives. Granted, it’s midterm exam season, and with spring break a week away, there’s a mutual attitude of just trying to make it to March 22.
I study at a school that proudly wears the title of an “Original Public Ivy”. My campus is flooded with smart, motivated, and competitive students. This can be a great thing; one is constantly challenged to grow and learn and contribute to our community. But this can also foster a culture of over-exaggerated fear of failure. There’s a reason why the students that go to my school, go to my school: they are intelligent, involved, and on a mission. However, I think whatever college or university that one attends presents great challenge. College is HARD. You are quite literally trying to get your life together and earn a degree, and if you haven’t experienced great failures in your life before, surrounded by the pressure of the successes of your peers, professors, and alumni, that can be very confusing and discouraging to navigate through.
It is cliche at this point to hear the advice to not be afraid of failure (a commencement speech favorite), but over the course of my college career, it is true. Failure affords growth. Failure affords courage. Failure affords eventual success. Simply put, give it your all, and if you take the L, learn from it, and move on. Your current failures will afford in long term successes, and chances are, you’ll be much better off than the people who have only achieved perfection all their lives (I have a feeling this is a very small percentage of the world).
The “what ifs” are pointless. Look up, not side to side.