5 Times Students Failed and How They Grew From It

College is a roller coaster of ups and downs. The sudden drops and loops can be scary at the moment, but when it’s over you can’t help but smile from the rush and wish you could ride it again.

Five students shared mistakes they made in their college career and how they learned from their failure.

Harlan Bailey, Senior in Agricultural Economics

“Spring semester of my junior year, I lost my scholarship and position in the Student Government Association.”

“I was getting into harder classes, but I also was a Head Counselor for Camp War Eagle and an Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association. All three commitments took a lot of time and effort.”

“I hadn’t realized I over committed myself until it was too late. Even after long all-nighters, finding time to study and doing my other two jobs, my grades had slipped too far. I put so much work into my involvement because they came naturally unlike school where I had to work extra hard.”

“After the semester, I was notified I would not retain my scholarship. This was a burden not just on me, but on my parents who were going to have to pay for what I had lost. It was hard having to ask them to pay the next semester when I knew it was my fault.”

“I had to step down from my position in SGA which was hard because I enjoyed being able to help Auburn students realize they have a say in what happens on their campus.”

“The next semester I buckled down and focused on school. Three things that really helped me were going to every class, rereading my notes ahead of time and paying attention during class. Those three things helped me get my highest GPA. After that semester, I was able to retain my scholarship.”

“Prioritizing is an important task. As much as you want to please everyone, you ultimately can’t. I came to school to get a degree. I love involvement, but you can’t graduate with a degree in it. When you feel like you are at your lowest you can always come back from it. Learn from your mistakes and plan for a better future.”

Jaqueline Keck, Junior in Economics

Student Government President

“My biggest failure probably over my entire Auburn career has been community and making friends a priority.”

“Even last semester was hard for me because I was never around. I was always away on the weekends and during the week I worked, did Student Government Association and National Panhellenic Conference. I was alone a lot of the time and that hurt me. I wasn’t always whole. I didn’t have somebody I could go and vent to at the end of the day so I bottled it up myself and it affected a lot of places in my life.”

“In college, you try to find your place and you never find that place in involvement as often as people think you do.”

“Eventually I learned to value community and seek friends who in return value me. I understand friends are worth the sacrifice of taking an afternoon off or missing a meeting. Friends drop what they’re doing to be with that person.”

“Find your routine. Every Sunday I make sure I go to church with my friends and every Thursday I make sure to hang out with a few freshmen girls. Also slow… down.”

“One way I do this is by creating margins. I make a 10-minute walk take 15 minutes because I might run into someone I know and want to talk to them.”

“In the end, it’s never about yourself. It was never about me anyways and it’s still not about me.”

Ryan Bynum, Senior in Biomedical Sciences

“During my sophomore year, I really stressed myself out about grades and really pulled away from a lot of relationships.  I started hanging out with my friends significantly less, and really overworked myself.”

“It took me a while, but I eventually realized that I had developed a pretty unbalanced work-life lifestyle.”

“I made efforts to stop working at a certain time each day and start hanging out with people more and doing more of the things I love which aren’t related to school like running.” “I learned how important it is to balance your life.  It’s pretty hard to be successful in school when you burn yourself out.” “College is a lot of work and requires a great deal of your time and focus each day. I focus and work better when I take proper amounts of time to invest in my relationships and allow myself to be invested in by others.”

Amanda Fang, Junior in Biomedical Sciences

“I have always been someone who is a big people pleaser and coming to college I had the opportunity to make many new friends.”

“At the end of the day because I was so focused on other people I lost who I was. I was putting so much energy in other people that I couldn’t differentiate between what I liked and what I didn’t like.”

“It took me awhile to figure out my grades were slipping because I was too busy checking in on other people. I wasn’t content or at peace with where I was. That affected my mental and physical health.”

“I realized I was putting too much time and energy into other people and not enough into myself.”

“I had to self-reflect and re-prioritize. I’m here for school, but I needed to balance it with my friends. I poured a lot into people, but too much did not positively impact me.”

“I needed to make sure that I was taking care of myself. I made myself go to sleep more and that really helped me wake up earlier and plan out my day. I started going to the gym and gave more time for myself.”

“The step back I took when my grades slipped helped me grow in the end. That reflection period helped me time manage my lifestyle more.”

Kayla Warner, Junior in Public Relations

Black Student Union President

“In my sophomore year of college, I learned that I had been struggling with perfectionism anxiety my entire life.” “I felt that I needed to be and do everything without any error or I would disappoint everyone around me. This began to get in the way of my friends, family and how I treated myself.”

“I forgot to call my grandmother on her birthday, and I was devastated. I beat myself up so much for the fact that I couldn’t stop being busy for three seconds to call her and tell her happy birthday. So, finally, enough was enough.”

“I began to go to Student Counseling Services, where I was able to put a name to my struggles. After about a year and a half, I am now able to recognize my behaviors that may be destructive or negative and combat them before they get out of hand.”

“Throughout this whole process, I’ve learned that I can be self-sufficient and that’s been the most empowering thing. There’s nothing wrong with getting help, and I’m glad that Auburn is making strides to expand its mental health and wellness resources for students.”

No student’s path is the same. Every student will face their own imbalances and fail. What matters is how you pick yourself up from that failure and finish the ride.

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