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Motivation Through Failure: My Life Experience

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I have encountered many obstacles and have suffered through many failures. The failure I would like to explain is one which I experienced recently. Fall semester, 2017, I enrolled in 6 classes at Levine Middle College. One of these was a college C++ class. When I first enrolled into this class, I was both nervous and filled with confidence- I believed if I could try hard enough, this class would be a breeze. With the ease at which the concepts came to me, it was likely that this could have been true. Yet, the procrastination that I flew through high-school with, achieving A’s and high B’s, followed me to this class. I ended up pushing almost all of my assignments to the last minute, and when the final came around, I received a grade that embarrassed me to the far reaches of the Earth. This experience was a wake-up call for me.

For the first time, my procrastination resulted in consequences, and the letter grade I received for that class was an extremely disappointing one. While I technically passed the class, getting a C was still a failure in my eyes. The doctrine of ‘C’s get degrees’ was never one I could subscribe to. What made this even more regrettable for me was the fact that I considered that class easy; I could have gotten a better grade. I just didn’t. This is a failure I can’t ever erase from my transcript, and this means I need to work that much more vehemently to make up for this grade. This obstacle is what inspires me today to strive for the best grade I can get. The letter grade is not what’s important to me, but what they signify certainly is. Getting a good grade (for the most part) means that I did everything in my power to understand, and assimilate the skills that were taught to me. Growing myself as a person is a substantial part of my motivation- this is what success means for me. The failure I brought upon myself marks a change in perspective for me. It opened my eyes to how enthusiastic I could be in furthering the growth of my skills, and how this could motivate me to make changes in how I perform at school. Big things changed in my outlook after that class. I was suddenly excited to work harder at school, especially because I wanted to take nice notes (a kind of weird quirk of mine). I wanted to gain something from school rather than coast along, not doing much of anything, getting by on the wisdom I had already gained.

What strikes me the most is how differently I value my education. It is very important for me to be the smartest, most knowledgeable I can be. This also applies to the classroom- I am suddenly much more competitive, craving first-place. Now that I have felt what success feels like (I got 100 on my Pre-Calculus final!), I hope this ambition stays with me for the rest of my life. It is both productive and satisfying for me to strive for the best I can be. It is so gratifying to feel as though I have changed, and for the better. With this, at least I know of one thing in my life that is clearly going in the right direction- my own improvement. It is not wrong to change the way you see things, as it is rarely for the worse. In the end, the failure of my one and only C++ class marks a revelation for me. I realized how important knowledge is, and how I was taking my best resource for granted. School is the best resource at my disposal, the grades I get not only represent my hard work, but they also influence my future accruement of knowledge with colleges and scholarships. This is what motivates me to work hard to catch up on what I perceive to have missed in my previous classes. This is what motivates me to work harder in every part of my life. This is what will motivate me to pursue an education that is thorough and of high quality. This is how failure changed my life.

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