Monday, May 19, 2014

What they don't teach you in college: To fail hard

The whole time I was in college, I had one basic goal that tied all of my other goals together: Don’t fail. I went about this in the usual way—stressing about making A’s, or in the case of one disastrous statistics class, trying just to pass. I tried to have the perfect relationship. I tried to work hard and get into academic conferences so I would have a solid résumé. I tried to be someone my parents could be proud of. I also tried to party and play beer pong while listening to Lil Wayne because that was part of college, too—and darn it, I was going to pass every part of college with flying colors.
Then, I graduated, and I found out that everything I knew was wrong—or, at best, not very helpful. Slowly, painfully, in the past four years, I’ve learned what might be the single most important lesson of my adult life: Fail. Fail hard. Fail big. Fail often. Because it’s through those failures you’ll find what you are good at, in a way that racking up A’s on life’s syllabus won’t teach you.

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