This has been one of my all time favorite quotes for a while now. I included it in this post because I think the turning point of my college career was when I applied these words to my own life. The summer after my sophomore year I was in a dilemma as to my future career path. All I knew was that I wanted to do some sort of math or statistics. I made the decision to pursue actuarial work and attempted the first exam that September. I failed miserably, which led to all kinds of self-doubt concerning if I was capable of even passing these exams. A couple of months later, I used that failure as motivation to push myself as hard as I could possibly go, ultimately leading to a successful passing of the exam and launch of my actuarial career. I wouldn’t have known what it takes to pass if I had not failed that first time. I succeeded the second time because I failed the first time. There are definitely other cases where I think this quote is true as well. You can’t learn anything if you never fail, so it’s about making that failure part of the process not the conclusion.
I look back over the last 3.5 years and realize how amazing it is what I have been able to accomplish. I could talk about the grades and the internship and whatever, but what I don’t want to go overlooked is the intangibles. I graduated from a very conservative private Christian high school and entered a world that was exactly the opposite when I came to Bryant, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I have gained so much knowledge just from being around people with different perspectives and having so many opportunities to try new things. I have met so many great people and made several awesome friends. The college experience in general – living on my own, making my own meals, doing laundry, being responsible for going to class, etc. – has helped me learn a lot. It has been such a crucial transition from being a kid to being an adult. Four years ago I questioned myself if I could even do anything right in college. Now, coming off my best all around semester by far, I question if there’s anything I can’t do.
Next stop: the real world