How to Fail, then Pass

Tri 2 was a disaster.

You know that moment every kid has when they’re like 11, and they realise that everybody else has a mind and a situation and a whole life, and each person is just a tiny part of a huge machine and nobody is all that important individually?

Despite that, you can’t help but act as though you’re the only person truly alive and awake and making decisions and facing consequences. Like you’re the star of a tv show, and you don’t know your lines.

Maybe that’s just me, I don’t know.

I know I’m not the only person in the world, don’t worry. I’m rational, I’m mostly thoughtful, sure. But sometimes my own sheer dumb luck and lazy success strings me along like nothing bad could really happen, fuelling that over-confident fantasy where you’re an untouchable protagonist.

My experience with Trimester 2 at Uni is the perfect example. I went to almost no lectures or tutorials. It started out as not being my fault- I worked a job that wouldn’t regard my unavailable times, so I was forced to miss my classes. Eventually I found a new job, and worked a secret double life for a couple of hazy weeks. University definitely wasn’t a priority at that time, like it should have been.

Assessments rolled around and I’d cram all night and I’d get them done, scraping a pass mark even though I didn’t deserve one.

I was so far behind, and then exams began to loom. No way could I catch up in time. There was literally no way.

I was invited to play on the university’s soccer team, to travel across the country and represent the uni. During exam week.

Some strings were pulled, and my exams disappeared.

Not really, but they were postponed until January. I need some discipline now, but I have all the time I need and don’t deserve.

While away I had an assignment due for my only writing unit. On the due date I logged into my emails to beg for an extension, only to find it was actually due the week before. It was my own fault, of course, and I take full responsibility. I neglected it for the rest of the trip. Finally I handed it in, only 15 days late, losing 22% instantly. It was worth 60% of my final grade, and there was no exam for this unit.

Despite failing dismally to attend the required number of lectures and tutorials, my lecturers gave me a second chance to pass after only a little bit of pleading and promising I’d prove myself. I passed my writing unit by 0.03%, and I’m studying for my economics and finance exams in January.

I deserve all fails here. I’ve been offered up a second chance, and I can only thank God and my lecturers and the soccer coach and essentially everyone except me, because I did not work for my good fortune.

But I am grateful for it.

Sometimes everything goes wrong. But sometimes it doesn’t even though it should, and that’s when you have to leap at the opportunity handed to you and prove yourself worthy. Be sure you don’t accidentally take life’s gifts as your well-earned rewards if they aren’t; just be grateful, and pass good fortune on to others too, where you can.

Good luck to you, in whatever it is you’re doing.

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